Long Beach City Council Moves to Extend Life of 148 Affordable Housing Units

The Long Beach City Council has approved two items that will preserve 148 units of affordable senior housing for 55 years, as well as provide opportunities for affordable housing for lower-income families, according to a release issued Monday.

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“The City is committed to serving the needs of our diverse community and ensuring the affordability and availability of the City’s housing stock,” said Mayor Robert Garcia in a statement. “That’s why I recently assembled a group of experts and advocates, chaired by former Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal, to look at how the City can best support and fund expanded affordable housing options. Their recommendations will provide important guidance for the City moving forward.”

With the statewide dissolution of redevelopment agencies and limited funding available, the city continues to seek out resources for maintaining various affordable housing options.

The council passed a resolution on Tuesday to approve the issuance of multi-family housing revenue bonds, permitting the acquisition and preservation of St. Mary Tower Apartments, according to the release. Located at 1120 Atlantic Avenue, the affordable senior development was at risk of being converted to market rate housing. With the required City Council approval, the California Municipal Finance Authority (CMFA) will issue up to $40 million worth of tax-exempt bonds to extend the affordability of the property for the next 55 years, stated the release.

“Preserving and protecting the City’s existing affordable housing assets is vital to building a healthier and more sustainable community,” stated Amy Bodek, Director of Long Beach Development Services. “Without City support, the affordability covenants for St. Mary Tower Apartments would expire later this year, putting its senior residents at risk of being permanently displaced.”

Built in 1986, the St. Mary Tower Apartments features studios and one-bedroom units for seniors earning less than 60 percent of the Los Angeles County median income. The complex also includes two units reserved for on-site management and employees, a fitness center, a community room with a kitchen and clubhouse and laundry facilities. Renovations to the development will include improvements made to tenant living spaces and common area amenities, accessibility and energy efficiency upgrades and new exterior paint, landscaping and lighting, according to the release.

On January 26, City Council members met as the Successor Agency to the City’s Redevelopment Agency (Successor Agency), to approve an amended repayment schedule, set to provide $10 million and more to the City’s Low- and Moderate-Income Housing Asset Funding (Housing Fund) in 2016.

The final installment represents a full repayment of the more than $24 million that the former Redevelopment Agency owed to the City’s Housing Fund, according to the release. The city has committed part of that figure to affordable housing developments and is preparing a Housing Action Plan (HAP) to oversee the disbursement of the remaining funds.

For more information on the city’s affordable housing and assistance programs, visit this website and click on “Housing and Community Improvement.”



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