AMCAL Partners with Labor Committee to Help Local Youth Build Affordable Housing Project

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorAgoura Hills, Calif.–AMCAL Multi-Housing Inc. has partnered with Watts Labor Community Action Committee (WLCAC)’s YouthBuild program to help local youth develop leadership skills by constructing Casa de Angeles, a 49-unit affordable housing development in south Los Angeles.“When YouthBuild participants see Casa de Angeles, whether it’s next year or 10 years from now, they will have the satisfaction of knowing their hard work helped transform their community and made a positive impact on families in need,” says Percy Vaz, president and CEO of AMCAL. “The participants should be commended for recognizing their own potential and for making an effort to change their lives.” YouthBuild participants spend between six and 15 months in the program, dividing their time between construction sites and the YouthBuild alternative school. Ninety percent of participants are likely to be placed in the construction industry or enter the community college system.Participating students learn basic skills in the areas of construction-related math, health and safety on the job site, construction tools and technology, and principles of teamwork and leadership in a construction setting, explains Vaz. “This is a unique opportunity for AMCAL as a homebuilder to help youth develop real-life skills that can be used throughout their lives.”The program will be completed in January 2009, and all participants will receive certification in construction. Move-ins will begin in August 2008.Designed by Santa Monica, Calif.-based Van Tilburg, Banvard and Solderbergh, Casa de Angeles offers two-, three- and four-bedroom residences ranging from 750 to 1,260 sq. ft. Monthly rents will be between $453 and $1,317, depending on unit size, family size and income.The project is expected to be complete this summer. It will be offer a variety of social services and educational programs, including after-school programs and English as a Second Language (ESL) for residents.Financing for the $16.35M project includes $7,528,988 from SunAmerica’s 9 percent tax credit equity, a $5,355,585 construction loan from California Bank & Trust and a $3,473,300 soft loan from the Los Angeles Housing Department.