These Are the Affordable Housing Projects Coming Online in Long Beach

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Renderings courtesy of the City of Long Beach.

As I noted before, we have to be frank, Long Beach: the Unaffordability Beast is rearing its ugly head throughout California, including right here in Long Beach. Rents are skyrocketing in Long Beach. Houses are now commonly reaching $1M. And while it is certainly still cheaper than LA–much cheaper—Long Beach cannot single-handedly solve the region’s (or state’s or nation’s) housing crisis.

That is why it is so important to examine what type of housing is being put where. And with the thousands of new housing units coming online in the next few years right here in Long Beach, 585 of them are affordable, with an additional 4 single-family homes thanks to Habitat for Humanity.

People often ask about what defines “affordable housing,” or what I mean when I say these units on “affordable.” Well, that all depends on whom the housing is serving—e.g. some of the projects listed below are reserved for veterans or those with special needs or seniors—and other certain caveats. The federal department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) defines affordable housing as a home in which a low-income family is spending 30% or less of their income on gross housing costs, including utilities. Low-income families are defined typically as earning 80% or less of the median income within a given area and then go down from there to very low-income (30-50% AMI), and extremely low-income (<30% AMI).

For instance, the Anchor Place project has 120 units set aside specifically for veterans. A massive portion of those units—111—will be given to very low-income (VLI) or extremely low-income (ELI) veterans. Only 8 will be given to low-come or moderate income. One will be reserved for the manager.

Another one of the projects mentioned, the Beacon Apartments, are available to those who qualify as low-income, VLI, or ELI. 26 units will be given to ELI families; 72 units to VLI; and 60 to low-income families; two will be reserved for a manager of each building.

Of special note, there is a difference between new affordable housing and preserving affordable housing. The latter, which means sustaining existing Section 8 housing vouchers on current properties, is not of discussion for this article (though the City of Long Beach preserved 45 affordable units at the Beachwood Apartments at 5th and Daisy in DTLB).

Here’s how they will look and where they are located. Of very important note: a measly seventeen units of those are within the Downtown core—y’know, the place that is most walkable, most easily accessed with transit both in and out of Long Beach, and the main source of density for future building. If we are to stretch to the Downtown’s outermost edge—and I mean that literally because this development is at 12th and Long Beach Blvd.—there are…


The Beacon Apartments: 1201-1235 Long Beach Blvd.

  • Two-structure project
  • Edge of DTLB/Central Long Beach
  • Headed by Century Housing
  • $80.4M proposed cost
  • Developer fees waived: $890,850
  • 121-unit affordable senior housing building; 39-unit supportive housing building
    • 140 one-bedrooms
    • 20 two-bedrooms
    • 26 units ELI; 72 units VLI; and 60 to low-income families; two will be reserved for a manager of each building.


Anaheim & Walnut (1540-1500 Anaheim St.)

  • 67,200-square-foot Cambodia Town lot (former Successor Agency-owned property) near the southwest corner of Anaheim Street and Walnut Avenue
  • Central Long Beach
  • Mixed-Use including retail/restaurant space and health clinic
  • 92 affordable residential units
  • Affordability breakdown unknown



Pacific Apartments (1795 Long Beach Blvd.)

  • In pre-development
  • Central Long Beach
  • Headed by AMCAL
  • $42.2M proposed cost
  • Transit-oriented/mixed-use with 2,000 sq. ft. ground floor retail
  • 101 affordable units
    • 61 one-bedrooms
    • 15 two-bedrooms
    • 25 three-bedrooms
    • 18 units ELI; 32 units VLI; 50 units low-income


The Spark at Midtown (1900-1940 Long Beach Blvd.)

  • In pre-development
  • Central Long Beach
  • $41.4M proposed cost
  • Headed by LINC Housing Corporation
  • 95 units reserved for individuals with special needs
    • 47 one-bedrooms
    • 25 two-bedrooms
    • 23 three-bedrooms
    • 66 units ELI; 10 units VLI; 18 units low-income; one unit given to the manager of the building.


Anchor Place (2001 River Ave.)

  • Development at existing Century Villages at Cabrillo
  • West Long Beach
  • $42.5M proposed cost
  • Developer fees waived: $666,700
  • Headed by Century Villages at Cabrillo
    • 100 one-bedrooms
    • 25 two-bedrooms
    • 5 three-bedrooms
    • 111 units VLI or ELI; 8 units moderate income; one unit for manager of building.120 units for veterans



The Pacific (230 W. 3rd St.)

  • Under Construction/Approved
  • Downtown Long Beach
  • Part of new Long Beach Civic Center
  • Of 163 units, 17 will be affordable
  • Fitness center, community rooms, and bike workshop/storage room
  • Broke ground June 2017



Henderson Houses (1950-1960 Henderson Avenue.)

  • In pre-development
  • Central Long Beach (Wrigley)
  • Headed by Habitat for Humanity for Greater Los Angeles
  • $1.5M proposed cost
  • Four 3-bedroom single family homes for low-income families only

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Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 16 nominations and two additional wins for Best Political Commentary for his work at KCET and Best Blog for Longbeachize, a section of the Long Beach Post. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.