Ever wonder why Century employees are always happy to hear from you and help you with your financial needs? The NonProfit Times has shed some light on this auspicious behavior by naming Century as one of the 50 best nonprofits in the nation to work for in 2012.
We’re honored to be recognized, but it wouldn’t be right not to share the credit with you, our developer clients and partners. Your hard work and determination in providing for people in need is what inspires us to do our best in creating an environment where good people and good ideas can thrive.
Read the NonProfit Times article.
Ann Marie Hickambottom, Ron Griffith, Dana Trujillo, Robin Hughes, Holly Benson, and Aaron Wooler (click to enlarge)
This past Wednesday, the historic Washington Square neighborhood in Northwest Pasadena welcomed back Hudson Oaks, a prominent senior housing development brought down by a 2005 fire. Thanks in part to Century’s $3,560,000 in acquisition financing, Abode Communities has modernized the crippled building to LEED for Home Platinum status with great care taken to match the area’s characteristic Craftsman-style architecture.
Most of the 45 new residents and their families attended the opening event, where everyone got a taste of the stunning mountain views the lucky seniors will be enjoying from their balconies. Too bad the mayor was out sick, because I’m not sure there is a better example of an affordable housing success story in the city—congratulations to Abode Communities and everyone involved.
Hudson Oaks was the first development to benefit from the LA County Innovation Fund.
Visit the Abode Communities site for details about the development.
Read a summary of the project at the time of groundbreaking last year.
In March I posted a chart that showed how severe a shift has occurred since 2005 in the funding sources for 9% tax credit developments. Tax credit equity has decreased by one-third and public agency soft loans have doubled as a share of total development costs (TDC). CTCAC released its 2011 Annual Report last month, and the trend has continued. While the average TDC for the 121 awarded projects fell by 4.2% from 2010 to 2011, tax credit equity and public agency soft loans both declined less than 1% – the major decline was in commercial loans, and there was some new funding from “Tranche B” loans, backed by Section 8 rental subsidies.
% TDC 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Soft Loans 17.8% 14.7% 16.4% 21.2% 29.2% 39.8% 38.1%
TC Equity 67.5% 68.7% 64.2% 57.1% 50.5% 47.3% 46.7%
The chart above clearly shows the continuing trend, which will probably be evident through 2012 as well. The table above shows the percentage of TDC that soft loans and equity covered over the past seven years and how pronounced the trend toward public agency loans has been – more than doubling from 2007 to 2010! Continue reading
Rending by PSL Architects
American Communities broke ground on May 1st for The Serrano, a 44 apartment development for low-income families in Koreatown. Century provided a $1.9 million land acquisition loan to American Communities in December. This will be the seventh development that Century has financed for American Communities, and the fourth in Koreatown, joining Harvard Heights, The Hobart, and The Ardmore. Construction will be completed in the fall of 2013, and will be certified LEED Silver. Congratulations to American Communities and PSL Architects!
Two of Century’s largest clients, Meta Housing and AMCAL Multi-Housing, are featured in an article about mixed-income housing in the March/April 2012 issue of Urban Land. The author, Patricia Kirk, highlights several public-private ventures in Portland (OR), Austin, and especially Southern California, where public agencies financial assistance made vibrant communities with a range of income levels possible.
Meta Housing received financial help from the city of Tustin for Coventry Senior Apartments
When the Housing Bubble popped, and home sales and prices started dropping like a stone, Congress enacted the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), a stimulus package to try to stem the growing recession. A big part of ARRA was a first-time homebuyers tax credit. This gave people buying their first home, or who had not been homeowners for three years, with a tax credit equal to 10 percent of the purchase price of the home, up to $8,000. Because California’s home prices are so much higher than those in other regions, the $8,000 cap was reached by almost all homebuyers here.
The tax credit was intended to spur home buying and stop the precipitous drop in home prices, which were plunging at almost 20 percent per year at the time. According to a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), about 2.3 million taxpayers took advantage of the credit, which cost $16.2 billion in direct tax expenditures.
So, what was the real effect? Did the credit do what Congress intended? And who really benefitted from that $16.2 billion? Continue reading
As one of only two nonbank CDFI members of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, Century can access the FHLB’s credit, rather than cash, to assist affordable housing developers in innovative ways. Aszkenazy Development has started construction on 62 affordable apartments in the City of San Fernando thanks to an innovative credit enhancement provided by Century Housing. For San Fernando Community Housing Phase I, Century provided a $791,000 letter of credit backed by FHLBSF, that replaced a typical construction performance bond. The cost of such a bond can be prohibitive when a development is not very large. Continue reading
For the second time, Century and Bridge Housing partnered in a creative financing structure to close predevelopment financing on a publicly-owned site, this time with LAUSD under the Workforce Housing Joint-Use Program, on unused land at Gardena High School. As with the previous deal in Pasadena, Century’s $1,000,000 predevelopment loan is secured by a letter of credit, rather than a typical deed of trust in the development site. Bridge Housing, one of the largest affordable housing developers in California, will build Sage Apartments with 90 homes for families earning less than $57,000 a year.
Century closed our first loan with Palm Communities (fka Palm Desert Development Corp), an active affordable apartment builder in Riverside County, with a $900,000 predevelopment loan for Tres Lagos, a three-phase development which will provide 209 apartments for very-low income seniors in Wildomar (Riverside County). The 81-apartments in Phase 1 will be under construction later this year.
We all drive past empty corners every day. They used to be service stations (yes, Virginia, there was “service” once upon a time–uniformed men would wash your windscreen, check your tire pressure (and fill them up with air for free!), check your oil and coolant levels, and offer to top them off if they were low, and actually pump the fuel into your car for you, all without extra remuneration or expectation of a tip, and often they would give you some useful gift if you filled your tank–amazing to think about nowadays).
Now, these lots sit vacant, perhaps with some odd looking barrels and pipes and maybe some pumps to suck the polluted groundwater up into filters and storage tanks. Most of us wonder, “Why can’t something be done to use that site? It would be great for. . . .” And that is when we realize that these odd shaped, small lots on the corners of our streets, big boulevards and neighborhood lanes alike, don’t seem to have much commercial value. They are too small for most uses, and the location on corners, which was an advantage for service stations, creates traffic conflict issues for other uses. Continue reading