A wave of new affordable housing developments targeting homeless veterans has celebrated grand openings or is breaking ground this spring to help address the growing issue in California.
According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in its 2017 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress in December, just under 30% of all veterans experiencing homelessness, 11,472 on a single night in January 2017, were in California. From 2016 to 2017, the state saw a rise of 1,860 homeless veterans, the largest increase in the nation.
Read more about how the developments in Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Oakland, and Riverside will help house and serve the nation’s neediest veterans.
The Cove Apartments
A permanent supportive housing development for homeless veterans and low-income seniors 62 and older has opened in Newport Beach, Calif.
The Cove Apartments, developed by Community Development Partners (CDP) with nonprofit partner Mercy House and co-general partner Integrity Housing, will serve residents earning between 30% and 60% of the area median income (AMI). Six units will serve chronically homeless veterans and will be subsidized with project-based HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers committed to the project by Orange County Community Resources. The remaining six units will serve seniors, including one unit for a senior veteran.
CDP acquired the rundown market-rate apartment community and transformed it into 12 one-bedroom units of affordable housing. The development, which is Green Point Rated, includes a refreshed exterior, new unit interiors, a laundry room, and a courtyard with a community garden. Mercy House will provide supportive services.
“The Cove is designed to be enriching to the residents and the community,” said Kyle Paine, president of CDP. “Not only will it help beautify and revitalize an otherwise dilapidated building, it is providing quality housing that honors the dignity of the residents.”
The $6.6 million development was financed with 4% low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) equity provided by Aegon and tax-exempt bond financing from bonds issued by the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA). Citi Community Capital was the construction lender. Additional financing was provided by the city of Newport Beach, CalHFA, The Home Depot Foundation, and Citi Salutes.
Additional partners include Rand Kruse, who designed the development; builder Precision General Contractors; and property manager Solari Enterprises.
The Cove Apartments adds to CDP’s expanding portfolio of permanent supportive housing to serve individuals experiencing homelessness.
March Veterans Village
The March Veterans Village celebrated its grand opening at the end of March in Riverside, Calif.
Developed by Coachella Valley Housing Coalition in partnership with U.S.VETS, the development provides 138 affordable homes for veterans on approximately 4 acres of the former March Air Force Base.
“U.S.VETS is proud to partner with Coachella Valley Housing Coalition to develop the largest supportive housing community for veterans in Riverside,” said Steve Peck, CEO, U.S.VETS. “The ability to provide a therapeutic community with mental health and employment services directly tied to housing will improve outcomes for veterans and families across the Inland Empire.”
The new $38 million development features a four-story building and a three-story building offering 116 efficiency, six one-bedroom, and 16 two-bedroom units. The 4% LIHTC development serves households earning no more than 60% of the AMI.
HUD-VASH vouchers will allow formerly homeless and extremely low-income eligible vets to pay no more than 30% of their income for rent.
In addition to the housing, the development has two tot lots, a basketball court, and laundry facilities on each floor in addition to barbeque areas. There is also a 3,000-square-foot community room that will be equipped with a computer lab, classroom space, case management offices, and the manager’s office.
This project is made possible by financing from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the lender and LIHTC investor; the Strategic Growth Council’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program (California’s Cap and Trade program); the state Department of Housing and Community Development’s Multifamily Housing Veterans Homeless programs; the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco’s Affordable Housing Program; and The Home Depot Foundation.
Veterans will soon have a new place to live in Oakland.
Resources for Community Development (RCD) broke ground on Embark Apartments at the end of March.
The 62-unit development will include 31 units set aside for veterans who are homeless. The site in Oakland was selected because of the local and regional need for affordable veteran housing and its proximity to two nearby VA service centers.
Embark Apartments will feature on-site services from Abode Services, an experienced provider of services to veterans, and the VA.
The six-story building will offer studio, one-, and two-bedroom apartments as well as ground-floor community uses, enhancing the quality and safety of the neighborhood. Residents will benefit from green building and Universal Design features that facilitate ease of access and movement throughout.
The approximately $36 million development is financed largely with LIHTC equity from Wells Fargo.
Additional financing partners include the state departments of Housing and Community Development and Veterans Affairs, Alameda County Housing and Community Development Department, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, Bank of the West, Housing Trust Silicon Valley, and the Oakland Housing Authority.
The Cesar Chavez Foundation and New Directions for Veterans (NDVets) are scheduled to break ground on Ybarra Village, a new community for veterans on April 4 in the West Adams district of Los Angeles.
The development will feature 64 units with on-site supportive services for veterans provided by NDVets, an organization that assists area veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
“There is an affordable housing crisis in Los Angeles, and this project is critical to helping veterans in need of housing,” said Alfredo Izmajtovich, executive vice president of housing and economic development for the Cesar Chavez Foundation. “We look forward to working with New Directions for Veterans in order to provide veterans with affordable housing and the services they require.”
More than half of the units at Ybarra Village will be designated for homeless veterans as well as additional units for veterans with special needs. The remainder of the units will be allocated for seniors, with a preference given to senior veterans. There will be a wide range of on-site social service programs for veterans provided by NDVets, including counseling, case management, job training, legal assistance, and Veteran Affairs health services and benefits assistance.
“It’s an unfortunate reality that veterans are more likely than civilians to experience homelessness in their lifetime due to factors like traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder,” said Colonel (Ret.) Yvette J. Kelley, NDVets CEO and president. “We are grateful to the Cesar Chavez Foundation for making veterans a priority with the construction of Ybarra Village, where veterans will have a safe place to live with staff on-site to help ensure they have the necessary support and resources to retain housing.”
The property is named for Miguel “Mike” Ybarra, a U.S. Marine Corps and World War II veteran. Ybarra was active with the United Farm Workers and worked with both the union and Cesar Chavez to organize farmworkers across California. He was a longtime board member of the Cesar Chavez Foundation.
The $35.7 million is financed with LIHTC credit equity from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, which is also providing a loan. The California Department of Housing and Community Development is providing an infill infrastructure grant and veterans housing and homelessness prevention program loan. The development also received financing from the city of Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department HOME loan and the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco’s Affordable Housing Program. The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles is contributing HUD-VASH vouchers.