Abode Begins Work on SoCal Affordable Seniors Housing Projects

Los Angeles--Abode Communities broke ground recently on two new affordable seniors housing projects, Terra Bella in Bell Gardens and Hudson Oaks in Pasadena.

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor

Los Angeles–Abode Communities broke ground recently on two new affordable seniors housing projects in greater Los Angeles, Terra Bella in Bell Gardens and Hudson Oaks in Pasadena. The former will include 65 units, while the latter will be a 45-unit development.

Terra Bella’s development will mark the demolition of a vacant, gang-infested complex, with the city of Bell Gardens providing redevelopment funds for the demolition and the new development. The project will offer one- and two-bedroom apartments with rents from $756 to $851 per month, with rental subsidies provided by the county. The property will feature a community room, laundry facilities, a community garden and a mind-body fitness area.

The development will incorporate a number of LEED for Homes building practices. For example, all residential appliances, light fixtures and HVAC equipment will be Energy Star-certified, and the building will benefit from a photovoltaic solar panel system. To improve indoor air quality, each unit will exhaust to the exterior, and to increase efficiency in the use of natural gas, the project will be designed with a central boiler to heat water for the entire building.

“While the residents of Terra Bella are delighted to have an affordable place to live, the sustainable design offers them additional advantages,” Jim Dixon, director of architecture for Abode Communities, tells MHN. “Not only do these low-income seniors benefit from the cost-savings, but the sustainable features also improve the quality of their surroundings. Details that control moisture, and materials that contain fewer chemicals, such as low-VOC paints and high-efficiency air filtration, can contribute to a healthier indoor environment, reducing potential for illnesses and improving the quality of life.”

The other development, Hudson Oaks in Pasadena, will provide housing for very low-income seniors, those earning below 30 percent of area median income ($17,400 to $19,800). Section 8 Vouchers will be available to each resident.

Funding for the $17 million project is a complex mix, from the California Community Reinvestment Corp., California Tax Credit Allocation Committee (funded through the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act–the 2009 federal stimulus), the City of Pasadena Housing Department, the County of Los Angeles Community Development Commission, the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, Pasadena Water and Power, Preservation Partners Development and Wells Fargo Bank.

Like Terra Bella, Hudson Oaks will be a green development, but it will go even further. It will replace the blighted property and aim to achieve LEED for Homes Platinum certification. All residential appliances, light fixtures and HVAC equipment will be Energy Star-certified, and there will also be a photovoltaic solar panel system. Water-use reduction will be a priority for the property, with low-flow fixtures, dual-flush toilets and environmentally sensitive drainage paths. The landscaping plan includes the preservation of mature oak trees and the addition of edible, drought-tolerant plants.

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