Construction is coming to a close at Casa de la Paloma, one of our 26 affordable housing communities.
The 33-year-old, nine-story complex in Glendale is getting a much-needed renovation including energy-efficient upgrades. The project, costing nearly $5 million, is part of a larger initiative within the organization to improve and preserve affordable housing for our 2,000 residents with limited incomes.
The need for senior affordable housing has increased as the population of adults age 65 and older has blossomed and incomes have dwindled. Forecasts estimate that the senior population will expand by 90 percent statewide over the next 10 years, according to a report from the L.A. County Community Development Commission.
“The need for affordable housing in our nation is even more critical at this time because of the recent economic crisis,” says Jacqueline Seegobin, be.group’s director of affordable housing. “Many older adults—especially baby boomers who are nearing retirement age—are not prepared financially for these types of circumstances.”
Currently, there are more than 9,000 seniors and disabled adults on waiting lists across our 26 affordable housing communities. Whenever waiting lists shrink below a certain level, we reopen them to give more very-low-income seniors the opportunity for a residence. Since 2009, we have reopened the waiting lists for four of our communities in Glendale—the latest, Park Paseo, will hold a lottery later this month at be.group’s corporate offices to determine which applicants will be placed on the current list.
With more than 3,000 applicants qualified to be included in the drawing, Seegobin anticipates an overwhelming response that day. “Because of their limited incomes, these applicants—who are elderly and some disabled—are desperate to find housing. We’re here to help meet that need.”
Those now living in our affordable housing communities are beginning to enjoy the fruits of a major modernization project started earlier this year with Casa de la Paloma. Built in 1978, the community is getting a new roof and elevators, heating and air-conditioning systems, and energy-efficient windows and lighting. be.group hopes to complete several of these renovation projects in the next few years.
The work is being funded through refinancing with tax-exempt bonds and 4-percent low-income housing tax credits. This also enables us to preserve our communities’ affordability status as established through their construction in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Casa project extends that community’s affordable housing status another 55 years.
Next on the renovation list is Covenant Manor, located in Long Beach. Communities scheduled for future work include Royal Vista Terrace in Duarte, Sycamore Terrace in Upland, Westminster Court in Bell Gardens, Park Paseo and Castle Argyle in Los Angeles.
be.group is also adding to its roster of affordable communities through new construction. Sierra Gateway Senior Residence II is a 68-unit complex now under construction in Fresno. It is located adjacent to its 80-unit “sister.” And in January we’re scheduled to begin construction on Andres Duarte II, a 43-unit building next door to the existing 80-unit Andres Duarte Terrace.
“be.group is proud of its affordable housing communities and looks forward to continuing to meet this critical need,” says Seegobin.