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Indio residents encourage city to approve much-needed 200-unit affordable housing development

Indio residents encourage city to approve much-needed 200-unit affordable housing development

More than half of Indio residents spend at least a third of their incomes on rent, and for many others housing eats up half of their paycheck 

INDIO, CA Indio residents are asking city officials to approve plans for a new housing development that will provide desperately needed affordable apartments in a city where more than half of people struggle to pay rent. 

 The project along Highway 111 in central Indio proposed by Liberty Star Management would include approximately 200 units and community amenities. The Indio Planning Commission is expected to consider the project at a special meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024, at 6 p.m. at Indio City Hall. 

 Around 60 percent of Indio residents are considered rent-burdened, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. Rent-burdened means someone spends more than 30 percent of their income on housing. In addition, at least a third of Indio residents are considered severely rent-burdened, meaning they spend more than half of their income on housing. 

 Indio residents are clearly feeling the pinch of rising housing costs. 

 “It’s been hard,” said Indio resident Blanca Bañuelos, who lives in an apartment with her husband and their three children. “I’m facing eviction. I was offered the chance to remain in the place I’ve called home for over 20 years, but at the cost of paying double the original price.” 

 The LSM Indio project will include a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units alongside a pool and other community spaces. The roughly 200 units will help Indio fulfill state requirements to build more affordable housing and bring the city closer to meeting its commitment to building nearly 3,000 new units for low-income and very-low-income residents by 2030. 

 Indio residents want more affordable housing in their city. In Indio’s housing element update survey, two-thirds of respondents said the city should require affordable housing in all new residential projects in order to meet residents’ needs and meet affordable housing goals. 

 Indio residents wanting to show support for the project can sign a petition at A Spanish-language petition can be found at Anyone who submits their name for the petition must then verify their email address by clicking the link sent to them in an email from the petition service Civist. Emails must be verified before a signature is officially recorded. 

Hundreds have signed the petition.

“The LSM project in Indio will be a safe, affordable space for working-class families, creating positive benefits for them and the wider community,” said Joe Mota, Director of Resident Engagement at Lift to Rise. “Studies show that affordable housing has no negative impact on surrounding property values, and in some cases nearby properties have seen their values increase because of the various amenities that an affordable housing development brings to the neighborhood.”