By Keith Loria, Contributing Writer
Fresno, Calif.—The Community Development Trust has partnered with LINC Housing Corporation, a Long Beach-based nonprofit builder of affordable housing for low-income families, seniors, and people with special needs, to purchase a 60-unit affordable housing development in Fresno, Calif.
Pleasant View Apartments serves both seniors and low-income families and consists of one-bedroom to four-bedroom units.
“We felt it was a good opportunity to work with our first non-profit partner in LINC Housing to acquire an existing affordable housing asset that while relatively well maintained, had various aging and really needed to be recapitalized moving forward,” Brian Dowling, CDT’s vice president of community investments, tells MHN. “We looked at this property as an opportunity to work with HUD to put together a strategy to preserve it for the long term.”
Plans are already underway for a major rehabilitation of Pleasant View Apartments, which will include full kitchen renovations to each unit and full roof and window replacements.
“Currently the property doesn’t have any common space, so we are also adding a community center that will allow LINC to implement the social service programs and provide a space for a wide variety of resident activities moving forward,” Dowling says. “There will also be a playground.”
The purchase marks CDT’s first acquisition with a nonprofit, something that the company has been considering and looking for the perfect property to enter with.
“We’ve been working on establishing this for a while,” Dowling says. “Fresno is a market that is pretty dire need of affordable housing and this was an opportunity that enabled us to do the rehab and provide services that will allow this property to be high quality affordable housing going forward.”
Through the partnership, CDT and LINC will also provide new benefits for the residents in the form of social services. LINC’s resident services affiliate LINC Cares will offer service coordination and on-site activities such as tutoring, health and wellness clinics, and special events for the first time at the property.
“This is a milestone for LINC Housing as well,” says Hunter L. Johnson, president and CEO of LINC. “We have traditionally relied on tax credits to fund our work, but as a result of the recession, we’ve had to find new ways to generate financing. Thanks to CDT’s capital investment, together we’re able to preserve and improve these affordable apartments for the seniors and families who call it home.”
Northwest Fresno is an area that has a big need for reinvestment and there are apartment properties on both sides of Pleasant View Apartments that CDT is hoping will benefit as well.
“We are looking to make Pleasant View the model property going forward and hoping to take some of the first steps in redeveloping the neighborhood,” Dowling says. “Seniors and large families of five or more people currently occupy more than half of the homes at the property. We’re looking forward to enhancing LINC’s outstanding work in California and continuing CDT’s mission to invest in affordable housing in underserved communities around the country.”
CDT partially financed the acquisition of Pleasant View Apartments with an acquisition loan from the Low Income Investment Fund.