Council Approves Preserving, Expanding Affordable Housing Opportunities

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The Long Beach City Council has approved two items that will preserve 148 units of affordable senior housing for 55 years, and also provide new opportunities for quality, affordable housing for lower-income families.

“The City is committed to serving the needs of our diverse community and ensuring the affordability and availability of the City’s housing stock,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “That’s why I recently assembled a group of experts and advocates, chaired by Former Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal, to look at how the City can best support and fund expanded affordable housing options. Their recommendations will provide important guidance for the City moving forward.”

With the dissolution of redevelopment agencies statewide and limited funding availability, the City continues to explore resources for maintaining and promoting a range of affordable housing options.

On February 2, the City Council passed a resolution approving the issuance of multi-family housing revenue bonds, enabling the acquisition and preservation of St. Mary Tower Apartments. Located at 1120 Atlantic Ave., the affordable senior development was identified as being at risk of being converted to market rate housing. With the required City Council approval, the California Municipal Finance Authority (CMFA) will issue up to $40 million worth of tax-exempt bonds, extending the affordability of the development for 55 years.

“Preserving and protecting the City’s existing affordable housing assets is vital to building a healthier and more sustainable community,” said Amy Bodek, Director of Long Beach Development Services. “Without City support, the affordability covenants for St. Mary Tower Apartments would expire later this year, putting its senior residents at risk of being permanently displaced.”

St. Mary Tower Apartments, constructed in 1986, features studios and one-bedroom units for income-qualified seniors earning less than 60 percent of the Los Angeles County Median Income. The apartment complex also includes two units reserved for on-site management and employees; a fitness center; a community room with a kitchen and clubhouse; and laundry facilities. Renovation of the development will consist of improvements to tenant living spaces and common area amenities; accessibility upgrades; energy efficiency upgrades; and new exterior paint, landscaping, and lighting.

One week earlier, on January 26, City Council members, meeting as the Successor Agency to the City’s Redevelopment Agency (Successor Agency), approved an amended repayment schedule, which will provide more than $10 million to the City’s Low- and Moderate-Income Housing Asset Funding (Housing Fund) in 2016.

This final installment represents a full repayment of more than $24 million that the former Redevelopment Agency owed to the City’s Housing Fund. The City has committed a portion of the funds to affordable housing developments, and is preparing a Housing Action Plan (HAP) to guide the expenditure of the remaining funds.

The HAP addresses the use of key affordable housing funds available to the City and potential new funds that may become available from state or federal sources.

For more information on the City’s affordable housing and assistance programs, visit http://lbds.info and click on “Housing and Community Improvement.”

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  1. […] Council Approves Preserving, Expanding Affordable Housing Opportunities – The Long Beach City Council has approved two items that will preserve 148 units of affordable senior housing for 55 years, and also provide new opportunities for quality, affordable housing for lower-income families. “The City is committed to serving the … […]