CARPINTERIA, Calif. -

It's taken  more than a decade, but the Carpinteria Camper Park, a disgusting housing site with crime and health issues, is getting a massive facelift.

Peoples' Self Help Housing purchased the property on Via Real 12 years ago, and began making a plan to move out residents, clear the land and build new affordable townhouses as rentals.

The ground breaking took place this morning with numerous community leaders and city officials present.

It was called one of the most deplorable living situations in Santa Barbara County at one time, with raw sewage leaks, prostitution, and drugs.

"We think that some of the original families that were here that we relocated will come back," said Jeanette Duncan who recently retired as the head of Peoples' Self Help Housing. She had devoted years to the organization and wanted to see this particular project through to the finish line.   She says, the people who will be renting the new homes are, "in the tourist industry and the flower industry and they are all hard working people ."

When the project is finished in the summer of 2015, there will be 43 new townhomes, a play area, community room and on site classrooms.