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SOURCE: ThinkinBig Communications
Blighted Property Transformed Into Quality Workforce Housing
Long Beach, CA (PRWEB) January 05, 2013
Jamboree Housing Corporation, one of California’s largest community development organizations specializing in affordable housing, in partnership with The Long Beach Housing Development Company (LBHDC) demonstrates the positive impact of new housing on an urban neighborhood with the completion of Collage Apartments, a previously blighted and crime-infested apartment complex near downtown Long Beach, CA.
“The rehabilitation of these properties provides working families with a safe and affordable place to live,” said Long Beach Councilman Dee Andrews, whose district includes the new development. “It revitalizes the neighborhood and helps to attract and retain good residents.”
Once the hub of ongoing neighborhood criminal activities, the acquisition/rehabilitation of the previously vacant properties at 1893-1911 Pine Avenue is now part of the far-reaching community revitalization efforts in Long Beach’s Central Housing Action Plan (HAP) focus area – to acquire parcels that are currently vacant or have substandard improvements.
“The Long Beach Housing Development Company acquired these properties to further its mission to provide safe and livable neighborhoods,” said Patrick Brown, Chair, LBHDC. “With the dissolution of the California Redevelopment Agencies and the resulting lack of funding for affordable housing, we are extremely happy to see this project come to completion.”
“Collage Apartments highlight Jamboree’s commitment to make lower-income neighborhoods a better place to live for all residents by providing quality affordable housing and strengthening neighborhoods and communities with life service options and resident services that include academic achievement for youth, job placement assistance for adults and community-building activities – offered to Collage residents at Jamboree’s nearby Puerto del Sol apartment homes,” according to Laura Archuleta, president of Irvine, CA-headquartered Jamboree. “This development further represents our ongoing commitment to engage in partnerships with cities to develop broader community and economic opportunities.”
Josef Levy, West Division Commander of the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD), noted that calls for service by the police coming from the area surrounding Collage Apartments have been significantly reduced in recent years.
Once unsafe for occupancy with a multitude of illegal conversions, the buildings that now make up Collage Apartments have been transformed from 17 rundown rental units into 12 two-bedroom and two three-bedroom apartments. Four of the previous units were combined to create larger floor plans for families as part of the total reconstruction.
Collage Apartments feature enclosed garage spaces, a new 494-square-foot community room with a kitchenette and bathroom, a tot lot, courtyard, resident garden, bike racks, and laundry facilities. Each home is fully renovated and modernized to include new windows, doors, drywall, kitchen and bathroom countertops, cabinetry, plumbing and electrical fixtures, and appliances. The apartments also promote sustainability with ENERGY STAR appliances, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and low and no-VOC paint and coatings.
Fully rented almost immediately upon opening, Collage Apartments are available to residents who earn between 50% and 60% of the area median income (AMI). For example, a family of four earning $67,450 (60% AMI) pays about $824/month in rent for their two-bedroom home. Rents range from approximately $678 to $917 per month based on family size and income level.
Long Beach-headquartered Studio One Eleven provided architecture and landscape architecture services. In addition to designing the apartment development, Studio One Eleven analyzed the existing urban conditions to identify opportunities, challenges and objectives for enhancing the public realm. Proposed improvements included adding diagonal parking and traffic calming roundabouts, creating bio swales and planting new street trees. “The housing development and proposed offsite improvements combine to dramatically enhance the physical environment and improve the quality of life in this neighborhood,” said Michael Bohn, AIA, principal of Studio One Eleven.
Studio One Eleven worked in collaboration with Jamboree’s newly established Quality Design Company that provides specific expertise and coordination among vendors involved in the design and construction of Jamboree’s developments. A separate 501(c)(3) entity operating as part of Jamboree’s Development Group, Quality Design Company ensures enhanced design and construction standardization across the company’s property portfolio, as well as more cost-effective development solutions and improved sustainability in both its new and renovated properties.
“Collage Apartments are a symbol of the value of renovating blighted housing into quality workforce housing,” said Archuleta. “We believe that acquiring and rehabilitating marginal housing stock could provide significant opportunities to create new affordable housing, not only here in Long Beach but throughout California. The funding necessary to acquire and renovate these properties is within reach of most local governments and the benefits for the community and its residents are substantial.”
SBI Builders, Inc. served as general contractor for Collage Apartments, and The John Stewart Company is responsible for property management.
About Jamboree Housing Corporation
Founded in 1990, Irvine, CA-headquartered Jamboree Housing Corporation is an award-winning, nonprofit community development company that develops, acquires, renovates and manages permanently affordable rental and ownership housing throughout California for working families, seniors and people with special needs. HOMES, Inc. and Housing with HEART are 501(c)(3) organizations and comprise Jamboree’s Resident Services Group. A leading nonprofit developer, Jamboree is committed to sustaining excellence with high quality affordable housing that is good for the environment, the economy and local communities. It currently has about $155 million in affordable housing projects in its development pipeline and a $1 billion asset portfolio that includes the development of and/or ownership interest in more than 6,700 homes in more than 67 California communities. Currently, Housing with HEART programs and services that foster learning, health and community building are offered at 39 Jamboree communities with designated staff at each location. For more information, go to http://www.jamboreehousing.com.
About The Long Beach Housing Development Company
The Long Beach Housing Development Company was established by the City of Long Beach in 1989 to assist in the creation and development of affordable housing. The LBHDC’s mission is to provide safe and livable neighborhoods in Long Beach by promoting, developing, and preserving decent, safe and affordable housing for the very low-, low- and moderate-income residents of Long Beach. The LBHDC offers a range of low cost financing, subsidies and other forms of financial assistance to encourage the development of affordable housing that improves the quality of life of the residents it serves. For more information, go to http://www.lbhdc.org.
About the Housing Action Plan
In 2004, the City of Long Beach adopted a Housing Action Plan (HAP) to serve as a framework for the allocation of scarce housing resources. Its intent is to maximize investment of these resources to benefit as many residents as possible, and at the same time, revitalize and stabilize Long Beach neighborhoods.
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