Simi Valley, Calif. – The Vintage Paseo Senior Apartments development is a testament to how a city can encourage a public/private partnership to create housing attractive enough to keep its seniors from moving away.
In March 2005, the doors opened on this new 176-unit affordable seniors property thanks to bond financing from the city of Simi Valley, low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) equity, and financing from investors and equity partners.
The $23.2 million Vintage Paseo property includes 93 one-bedroom and 83 two-bedroom units designed for seniors earning between 40% and 60% of the area median income (AMI). Rents range from $540 to $1,001 per month.
The project was vital to the city because Simi Valley has been trying to encourage seniors to stay in the community for some years, said Dolce Conde-Sierra, deputy director for housing programs for the city.
“So many seniors were suffering with economic displacement and [were] at risk, that we felt the issue had to be addressed,” she said. “Vintage Paseo is a positive influence on the area because of its design and the way it integrates into a mixed-use area.”
Vintage Paseo is part of a larger 35-acre mixed-use development known as El Paseo Simi, which includes 17 acres of commercial space, 14 acres of residential townhomes and four acres of the Vintage Paseo affordable seniors housing apartments.
Developed by USA Properties Fund, Inc., an affordable housing developer, the Vintage Paseo seniors development was designed within the city’s larger goal of promoting a healthy mix of retail and affordable residential offerings in a fairly small footprint. The three-story, three-building Vintage Paseo apartments have a density of more than 40 dwelling units per acre.
But the complex handles this density without compromising on amenities such as balconies, patios, common pool areas, a media room and covered parking, said Brian McFadden, land acquisition manger for USA Properties Fund.
Amenities are designed with the needs of both the active and older seniors in mind, so they include elevator access, accessibility features that meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, a pool lift for persons with limited mobility, and intrusion alarms. The community was designed by Bassenian Lagoni Architects and includes a wood-frame construction with stucco exterior finish and tile roofs to blend with the surrounding Southwestern-style architecture.
Of the 176 units, 175 units are reserved for seniors earning no more than 60% of AMI, with one unit reserved for a resident manager.
The project was financed with $15 million in tax-exempt multifamily revenue bonds bought by Ambac Financial Group; $5.4 million in 4% LIHTC equity from SunAmerica Affordable Housing Partners; a $1.7 million, 55-year subsidy loan from the city of Simi Valley’s Affordable Housing Incentive Fund at 3% interest; and a $1.1 million deferred developer note by USA Properties Fund, Inc.
“Most important, Vintage Paseo is a major step in [addressing] the lack of affordable housing for the senior population in Simi Valley,” McFadden said. “Secondly, Vintage Paseo keeps its seniors in the heart of the community and active within it.”
Developer: USA Properties Fund, Inc.
Number of units: 176
Number of affordable units: 175
Unique feature: The apartments were designed to meet the city’s overall goal of promoting a healthy mix of retail and affordable residential housing in a fairly small footprint.
Key sources of financing
Tax-exempt multifamily revenue bonds bought by Ambac Financial Group: $15 million
4% low-income housing tax credit equity from SunAmerica Affordable Housing Partners: $5.4 million
Subsidy loan from the city of Simi Valley’s Affordable Housing Incentive Fund with a 3% interest for 55 years: $1.7 million
Deferred developer note by USA Properties Fund, Inc.: $1.1 million
Total development cost: $23.2 million