CHA Behind on Housing Plan
CHICAGO Nearly nine years into what was called a 10-year program to transform public housing, this city has completed only 30 percent of the plan’s most ambitious component—tearing down housing projects and replacing them with new neighborhoods with mixed-income populations.
The Chicago Housing Authority said it has completed nearly 65 percent of the work called for under the overall plan. But the agency conceded that it couldn’t say exactly when it will finish replacing thousands of units it has torn down.
“This isn’t a race,” said Lewis Jordan, the authority’s CEO told the Chicago Tribune. “We are methodically moving forward.” Hundreds of additional units are under construction, and Jordan said the current goal is to complete the plan by 2015. But some housing insiders said it might take another 10 years beyond that.
Chicago’s problems with its plan contrast sharply with that of King County, Wash.’s plan to end homelessness (see news item in the WEST section, page 51).
Affordable Housing Completed at NYC Church Site
NEW YORK CITY Construction of Salem House, a $9.5 million, 60,000-squarefoot mixed-use facility in central Harlem, is complete. The developer of the project is locally based nonprofit Phipps Houses Group.
The seven-story structure, which combines affordable housing with commercial and community facilities, includes a church on the property owned by Salem United Methodist City Society.
The development reflects a new trend in which religious institutions are developing their properties to address housing needs and to raise revenue.
Funding for 12 Projects TRENTON, N.J. The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs has awarded $52.3 million for affordable housing developments. Of the total, $15.1 million is from low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs), and $37.2 million is from Balanced Housing/Home Express funds.
The funding will support the creation of 752 affordable rental units and preservation of 120 units in nine cities.
The combined funding will be used to construct or preserve 12 developments in Camden, Deptford, Jersey City, Newark, Paterson, Salem, Somerdale, Stafford, and Vineland. The total development cost for all 12 projects is more than $217 million.
Boston Capital Closes Fund
BOSTON Boston Capital has closed the Boston Capital Tax Credit Fund XXX after raising $150 million in equity. The fund has invested in 27 affordable apartment communities in 15 states.
“At a challenging time for the U.S. economy and the credit markets, we are very pleased to close a fund consisting of high-quality assets and strong investor interest in these assets,” said Jack Manning, the firm’s president and CEO.
The company plans to launch and close another multi-investor national fund totaling between $150 million and $200 million by the end of 2008.
Zimmerman to Build More Units
ENID, OKLA. Roosevelt Park, a fourbuilding affordable project, is planned in this city, about 70 miles north of Oklahoma City. The developer of the 48- unit complex is Zimmerman Properties.
The project will be located on the site of the former Roosevelt School. “We’re very excited about this,” said city planning administrator Chris Bauer. “Infill and redevelopment is one of our major goals.”
The locally based developer has another affordable development in Enid, Pheasant Run Apartments, located on the west side of town.
Richman Builds on Central Florida Coast
TITUSVILLE, FLA. Timber Trace, a complex with affordable units, has opened here. The developer is The Richman Group, based in Greenwich, Conn.
Units are targeted for households earning no more than 60 percent of the area median income.
The development includes 204 units in 12 three-story buildings. Monthly rents are $722 for a two-bedroom unit and $834 for a three-bedroom unit. Amenities include a swimming pool, two playgrounds, a bike path, and a game room.
New Fund Gives Boost to Affordable Housing in L.A.
LOS ANGELES The New Generation Fund, a $100 million predevelopment and acquisition fund, has been created through a partnership between the city, Enterprise Community Partners, and a consortium of banks, financial institutions, foundations, and community development institutions.
The fund will offer affordable housing developers early-stage financing for properties in Los Angeles intended for low- and moderate-income residents.
Housing Plan on Track in King County
SEATTLE Local government and nonprofit groups created about 500 units of permanent housing for the homeless, new apartments where homeless people can permanently live, according to a report by the Committee to End Homelessness in King County.
Two-and-a-half years into a 10-year plan to build 9,500 low-income housing units, the committee said it has reached 30 percent of its goal, with 1,449 units created and another 1,441 in the works. The new housing includes services for people with addictions, mental illness, or disabilities.
“We made tremendous progress in helping people who are very vulnerable and often very disabled move into housing,” said Bill Block, project director for the committee.
Block said people have to make more than $18 an hour to afford a twobedroom apartment in King County. The minimum wage is $10 less than that.
Block also said the community needs to keep investing. King County faces a budget shortfall, and the city of Seattle may have to reduce spending next year. A voter-approved low-income housing levy in Seattle expires next year.
PEP Housing Builds Seniors Complex
PETALUMA, CALIF. PEP Housing, a locally based nonprofit, is building Casa Grande Senior Apartments, located here. The 57-unit complex is accepting applications from potential residents through Sept. 1.
Each unit measures approximately 630 square feet. All units are one-bedroom apartments, with a balcony or patio located off the bedroom. The development features a community room, a courtyard, an emergency call system, laundry facilities, and a bocce ball court. PEP Housing has designated that all apartments be smoke-free.
Green Rehab in SLC SALT LAKE CITY Developer Ben Logue’s company, The LaPorte Group, is renovating two affordable apartment communities here: the 32-unit Peter Pan apartments and the 40-unit Piccardy.
The developer is also working on affordable housing projects in Ogden, Helper, and Price—all of which involve rehabilitating older buildings.
The renovations will include solar panels, low-energy-use light fixtures, and energy-efficient appliances.
The developer has already completed other green rehab projects in Salt Lake City: the Ritz, a 30-unit project, and the 27-unit Ashby apartments. Those were the first of LaPorte’s buildings to incorporate rooftop solar panels and other energy-saving features and appliances.