Recent impact in Los Angeles and San Diego

Calvert Apartments (pictured): The San Fernando neighborhood of Van Nuys will gain 19 workforce homes thanks in part to a Century construction loan. The property is located in a low-income census tract within walking distance of several office parks, retail options and the 2000-acre Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area. The three story building with a 35 car parking garage on ground level will feature upgraded amenities and private balconies throughout.

Arminta Apartments: The Sun Valley community in Los Angeles is getting 110 newly constructed affordable homes thanks to developer Meta Housing and acquisition financing from Century Housing through the New Generation Fund. The project has been selected for the managed pipeline and will be 100% affordable with strong support from the City. The property sits within one mile of the I5 Freeway and a large industrial district and within a short walk of a library and recreational center.

Mt. Alifan: Developer Wakeland Housing & Development has received acquisition financing to acquire land for the construction of 52 units of affordable housing in San Diego. Century used the Golden State Acquisition Fund to offer a 100% LTV acquisition loan. The subject property will provide deep affordability for seniors earning 50% of Area Median Income, or below. Residents will receive supportive services through Wakeland’s partner, PATH, who is featured in our annual report. The project will be located in the Clairemont community of Eastern San Diego, walking distance to public bus transit and extensive retail.

Preservation Critical to Maintaining Affordable Housing Stock

 

Preserving existing affordable housing is as important as creating new affordable housing. Each year, even as demand increase, the United States loses more than half a million affordable homes due to expiring affordability restrictions, conversion to more expensive housing, or building deterioration.1 Without intervention, we are in danger of permanently losing the current supply of affordable housing.

WAYS THE MARKET LOSES AFFORDABLE HOUSING 

Expiring affordability restrictions
Many affordable housing properties receive rental assistance contracts and/or financing from various federal, state and local programs. As time passes and owners pay off their subsidized mortgages, the low-income use restrictions on these projects expire. Without further incentives, owners often opt out of continuing to offer their properties as low-income housing.

Conversion
In strong markets, owners can command higher rents as competition for units increase. In addition, higher property values also motivate owners to sell to investors, who are generally not in the business to provide affordable housing. In these situations, affordability is lost and rents will almost always increase.

Deterioration
To maximize returns, property owners can either increase rent or reduce cost. For properties with already low rents, owners will delay fixing vital infrastructure systems such as plumbing, electrical systems, roofs, etc. Over time, the unit can deteriorate to the point where it is no longer habitable. These vacant properties enter foreclosure or become a source of blight. In cases where properties are sold to investors, it is often demolished and replaced with high rent buildings. This is where policy and incentives can intervene, turning these abandoned eyesores into livable homes.

ADVANTAGES OF PRESERVATION

In many cases, preserving housing, rather than building it new from the ground up, has proven to be the most financially sustainable method.

  • Preserving existing affordable housing is generally much more cost-effective than new construction, by as much as 30% to 50% (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development2).
  • With inadequate funding for new affordable housing construction, the existing funds can go a long ways in creating more affordable housing options.
  • In many cities, high land costs, limited available land or regulations that restrict land use make it difficult to build new affordable rental housing.
  • Preservation builds on previous public investments: there is no need to buy new land (where prices have skyrocketed in many cities), pay for costly securing of regulatory approval for new construction in certain expensive markets, or contend with “soft-costs” such as closing fees.
  • Preservation of affordable housing is key to a diversified and stable housing stock and economic diversity by creating or sustaining a mixed-income neighborhood.
  • Preservation is less likely to displace longterm residents who may otherwise have to move and change jobs when rents are no longer affordable.
  • Preservation keeps families, communities and social networks intact and safe. Displaced residents often have to move to a more affordable but less safe neighborhood. For those who remain, the loss of a tight-knit community means less protection, reduced communication and more isolation of individuals who no longer look out for each other.
  • Preservation restores vacant buildings to a city’s housing stock, and research shows that restoration also benefits neighborhoods by attracting private investment and improving community safety.

There is no doubt that the need for affordable housing is dire. Through collaboration between public, private, philanthropic groups and elected officials, their combined power can make a difference in preserving affordable housing that can impact individuals, neighborhoods and communities.

Recently, Century funded a bridge loan to Bridge Housing for preservation of low-income senior housing in the growing community of Danville, CA where seniors can now remain in their community even as rents soar. Century also helped with acquisition financing to developer Affirmed Housing to preserve 60 two- and three- bedroom units for families in Bakersfield targeting average affordability of 50% of AMI.

 

 

  1. “Community Strategies to Preserve Affordable Housing” https://www.huduser.gov/portal/pdredge/pdr-edge-frm-asst-sec-112017.html
  2. “Preserving Affordable Rental Housing: A Snapshot of Growing Need, Current Threats, and Innovative Solutions,” Evidence Matters, Summer 2013. https://www.huduser.gov/portal/periodicals/em/summer13/highlight1.html

Century Impacts Throughout California

Ramona Senior Apartments (pictured above): Chelsea Investment Corporation received acquisition and predevelopment financing to develop 62 new homes for low-income seniors, 20 of which will target seniors transitioning from homelessness. The development was awarded with 9% LIHTC financing as well as AHP and HOME funds and will feature a mix of 50 one-bedroom and 11 two-bedroom units with an affordability of 30%-50% of AMI, supported by Project Based Vouchers. Ramona Senior Apartments is part of San Diego’s county-wide Live Well San Diego initiative which aims to ensure that low-income residents have access to suitable living environments. The development will integrate extensive health and wellness services, which will be provided by a supportive housing manager, a service coordinator, a registered nurse, and an activity coordinator. The development will add vital new housing to Ramona’s affordable housing stock, which currently has properties with waiting lists of up to three years.

Grace and Laughter: Highland Property Development received an acquisition loan to purchase Grace and Laughter Apartments and preserve affordability for its 40 units. The property serves seniors age 62 and over and is located in Dinuba, CA. Highland’s plans for the property include a significant rehab scope and anticipates assistance from tax credits. The property has affordability levels ranging from 30 to 60% of AMI, and was constructed in 1974. Century is pleased to assist Highland in adding to its existing portfolio of properties in Dinuba and help it revitalize a community asset with a needed building rehabilitation.

Sun King Apartments: Century’s acquisition loan helped developer Many Mansions secure a Sun Valley site for the development of 26 homes designated for formerly homeless families. The project was financed through a combination of a 4% LIHTC award with tax-exempt bonds, HOME funds, HHH, and AHP. The project will consist of 8 studio, 11 one-bedroom, and 7 two-bedroom apartments with an average affordability of 42% of AMI.

Square Apartments: Construction financing will help a San Fernando Valley developer create nine workforce homes. The Panorama City project is located in a low-income neighborhood within three blocks of a middle school and high school, near a large shopping center, and a short drive away from two major freeways.

More about Century lending products

Century Named Top 25 Affordable Lender

ahf_logoCentury Housing Corporation was named among the nation’s Top 25 affordable housing lenders in 2016 by Affordable Housing Finance magazine for the third consecutive year.  “It is a major accomplishment to be included among lending giants such as Citi Community Capital, Wells Fargo, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and JP Morgan Chase. As the only CDFI lender on the list, our developments are targeted in both Northern and Southern California, where affordable housing demand is high and inventory is low, coupled with tremendous affordability issues,” said Ronald Griffith, President & CEO of Century Housing.

Yes on H, Defeat S!

Recent Developments

SCANPH awards Century clients, attracts record crowd

Century is proud to have provided financing for two of the Annual Homes Within Reach Award winning developments at SCANPH’s 30th Anniversary Conference on September 18th: Beyond L.A. Project of the Year awardee Affordable Living for the Aging with the Janet L. Witkin Center in West Hollywood and Developer of the Year Skid Rown Housing Trust for New Pershing Apartments in Downtown Los Angeles.

The conference luncheon was highlighted by keynote speaker California Assemblyman Ed Chau who discussed a productive year for affordable housing legislation and the obstacles which remain. The 2015 Housers’ Hero Award recipient, Hunter Johnson, former President & CEO of LINC Housing, closed the program.

Century was among the exhibitors at the event which enjoyed record-breaking attendance and attracted California’s top affordable housing developers, lenders, and advocates.

Century celebrates 20 years of service

Century held its anniversary dinner at the National History Museum on September 5th to celebrate 20 years of service to low-income and homeless families and veterans throughout California. Attended by The Honorable Judge Harry Pregerson, his wife, Bernardine Pregerson, Century’s Board, staff, dignitaries, and friends, the event highlighted the social impact of programs created by Century and supported by Century’s More Than Shelter Fund.

Mr. Fritz Colman was on hand to introduce the Judge and Board Chairman Earl Fields, who shared his thoughts about the need for affordable housing. Mr. Fields reminded the audience that California continues to lead the nation in the need for below-market-rate housing. However, he also helped lighten the mood by leading a lively birthday sing-along!

Beginning with the Century Freeway Housing Program and following its successful conversion into a nonprofit corporation, Century has provided more than $1 billion in financing toward the development of over 25,000 affordable homes.

Annual Report: Preservation deals propel Century beyond 25,000 homes financed

Fresh off the virtual presses, the Century Annual Report is a brief recounting of our most successful year in terms of homes financed and loan production.

annual_report_buttonThis year, we highlight high-impact preservation deals in Northern California that have helped Century reach the 25,000 homes financed milestone. One such development, which utilizes the Golden State Acquisition Fund, is Monte Vista Gardens in San José, developed by Jamboree Housing. Thanks in part to $27,455,000 in Century bridge financing, the rehabilitation will convert 26 market rate units to affordable rents, for a total of 144 affordable units at or below 60% AMI.

You can read more about Monte Vista Gardens and get Century’s 2014 lending impacts by downloading the annual report. If you would like to receive a printed copy of the report, email hidden; JavaScript is required.