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Mar. 19, 2013

Ground Broken for Long Beach Affordable Housing

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor

Irvine, Calif.—Affordable housing specialist Palm Communities and the nonprofit Western Community Housing have broken ground on Ramona Park Senior Apartments in Long Beach. The 61-unit development will house residents aged 55 and older with incomes up to 60 percent of area median income, and is slated for completion in the spring of 2014.

Located on E. Artesia Blvd., Ramona Park Senior Apartments will be comprised of a mix of one- and two-bedroom units. Amenities will include a central courtyard, pool, spa, fire pit, picnic area, fitness center, community rooms, classroom and recreation rooms. The property is being constructed to comply with Long Beach green building standards, as well as to achieve LEED certification.

The Long Beach Housing Development Co. provided $12.4 million for Ramona Park, while other financing is through low-income housing tax credits and tax-exempt bonds, and a loan from Farmers & Merchants Bank. WNC, a national investor in real estate and community development initiatives, provided $7 million in low-income housing tax credit equity to construct the property.

“While there are challenges when it comes to developing affordable housing, these challenges are nothing new—budget cycles come and go—but the need for affordable housing is ongoing,” WNC COO Michael Gaber tells MHN. He further cites the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program as one of the country’s best examples of a successful public/private partnership, with more than 25 years of bipartisan support.

“That support was validated again by the recent extension of the 9 percent tax credit floor, which provides greater clarity to transactions,” Gaber continues. “Though other budget-tightening measures could impact the industry, it will likely result in a greater challenge for the less experienced companies. The more experienced and established industry leaders, who have been through challenging times and learned to thrive despite them, will continue to succeed.”

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