Tuesday, July 17 , 2018, 10:52 pm | Fair 65º


Housing Authority Secures $21.3 Million for Affordable Housing for Veterans, Seniors

Construction of The Gardens on Hope and Johnson Court anticipated to begin this year

Architect’s rendering of Gardens on Hope — 89 housing units for frail, low-income seniors.
Architect’s rendering of Gardens on Hope — 89 housing units for frail, low-income seniors.

Two affordable housing projects being developed by the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara (HACSB) have been allocated $21.3 million in tax credit financing to create 107 affordable rental units for veterans and seniors.

The Housing Authority’s successful application for the competitive federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) makes possible the construction of The Gardens on Hope, to be at 251 S. Hope Ave., and Johnson Court, 813 W. Carrillo St.

Both are scheduled to break ground later this year.

“The Gardens on Hope and Johnson Court are designed to be enriching places to call home for the residents and are vital to ensuring that vulnerable members of our community, including seniors and veterans, receive the services and support they need to stabilize their lives.” said Rob Fredericks, HACSB executive director and CEO.

“We are proud to be a part of it,” he said.

The California Tax Credit Allocation Committee (CTCAC), which administers the LIHTC, selected the local projects for LIHTC funding at the conclusion of a highly competitive application process.

Tax credit developments must meet high design and operating standards, including strong management and excellent development quality.

The LIHTC funding stimulates private investment in affordable housing by awarding tax credits to developers, who agree to reserve a portion or all of their housing units for low-income households for a number of years; in California the affordability period is 55 years.

Developers sell their tax credits to investors to obtain equity financing for their developments. This federal resource is one of the state’s most successful public-private partnerships and accounts for about 90 percent of all affordable rental housing created in the United States today.

The Gardens on Hope

The HACSB purchased the vacant lot at 251 S. Hope Ave. in April 2014 with the intention of developing a project similar to the successful 98-unit Garden Court on De la Vina Street. The Gardens on Hope will consist of 88 studio units and a one-bedroom manager unit.

The housing will serve the same low-income, frail senior population and provide three meals a day, housekeeping, transportation to medical appointments and a host of social programs.

The need for affordable senior housing is growing significantly nationwide. In California alone, the senior population is expected to increase from 4.5 million to 8.8 million by 2030.

As reported in UCLA’s Elder Economic Security Index, nearly 40 percent of the Santa Barbara County’s senior population is economically insecure. Many of those seniors saw what retirement they had decline significantly during the recession, and recovery has been difficult.

Locally, 21 percent (or 1,453) of applicants on HACSB’s waiting list for affordable housing are seniors. It is estimated that a third of the homeless are over age 50.

The site is in close proximity to La Cumbre Plaza and less than half a mile away from all necessary amenities, such as banking, supermarkets, entertainment, shopping, and medical services.

Building construction will utilize the latest in sustainable practices and materials. Energy efficiency will far exceed California requirements, and the property will generate much of its electricity needs through the installation of photovoltaic solar panels.

The Gardens on Hope is expected to break ground in July, followed by an estimated 14-month construction schedule. All of the rental units will be subsidized with Project Based Housing Choice Vouchers, making rent affordable at 30 percent of the residents’ income.

The Gardens on Hope development partners:

General Partners
Garden Court, Inc.
2nd Story Associates
Hearthstone Housing Foundation
Santa Barbara Affordable Housing Group (Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara)
Equity Investor
Enterprise Community Investment, Inc.
Construction Lender
Citi Community Capital
Permanent Lenders
Citi Community Capital
Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara
RRM Design Group
Frank Schipper Construction Company
Property Manager
Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara and Parsons Family Management, LLC

Johnson Court

Johnson Court is an affordable housing development that will serve the homeless veteran population in Santa Barbara.

The proposed project provides 16 studio units for very-low and low-income veterans, a one-bedroom manager unit, and common area and office space to accommodate the provision of services and activities on-site.

The veteran target population is in keeping with the wishes of the former property owners, the Johnson family, whose father had served in the military.

The Housing Authority bought the property in October 2013, and in keeping with the family’s wishes, will provide housing for veterans at the aptly named Johnson Court.

The need for affordable veteran housing is growing significantly nationwide. Santa Barbara County’s homeless Vulnerability Index database shows there are 210 homeless veterans on our streets; they have an average age of 52.9 years, with the oldest veteran reported being 84.

The proposed housing will meet the needs of veterans with special needs, disabilities, who are seniors, and any combination of these realities veterans experience.

Construction of Johnson Court is anticipated to start in the fall and be completed within a year. All studio units will be subsidized with Project Based Vouchers, making rent affordable at 30 percent of a resident’s income.

Johnson Court Development partners:

General Partners
Garden Court, Inc.
2nd Story Associates
Hearthstone Housing Foundation
Santa Barbara Affordable Housing Group (Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara)
Equity Investor/Limited Partner
Enterprise Community Investment, Inc.
Construction Lender
MUFG Union Bank
Permanent Lenders
California Community Reinvestment Corporation City of Santa Barbara
California Lutheran Homes
RRM Design Group
General Contractor
McCarthy Companies
Property Manager
Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara

For more about the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara, visit www.hacsb.org.

— Angel Pacheco for Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara.


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