Enterprise to Develop Two L.A. Green Affordable Properties

Enterprise Community Investment Inc. has announced a pair of new Low Income Housing Tax Credit deals that will fund construction of buildings for low-income and formerly homeless families and seniors with special needs.

Los Angeles—Enterprise Community Investment Inc. has announced a pair of new Low Income Housing Tax Credit deals that will fund construction of buildings for low-income and formerly homeless families and seniors with special needs.

The tax credit deals total more than $20 million, and will make possible the construction of Vermont Villas in the Harbor Gateway neighborhood, as well as Whittier Place Apartments on the east side of Los Angeles County. The two developments will offer studios as well as one- and two-bedroom apartments, and are expected to be complete by next summer.

Both buildings are expected to not only exceed California’s Title 24 green energy standards, but provide such resident amenities as laundry facilities and community rooms.

“Both Vermont Villas and Whittier Place use new sources of funds and subsidies to target special-needs populations, and to fill gaps caused by traditional sources that have been reduced and eliminated,” Jeff Schaffer, vice president and Southern California market leader at Enterprise Community Partners, the parent of Enterprise Community Investment, tells MHN.

Whittier Place was awarded development and operating funds from First 5 LA, a non-profit child advocacy and funding organization, toward its capital and supportive services budgets, Schaffer adds. “These funds will develop a first-of-its-kind permanent supportive housing program for homeless or at-risk families with children under five years who have been served by Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services,” he reports.

Vermont Villas was awarded project-based Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers from the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles for 50 of its 78 units. The remaining units receive subsidies from the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services for formerly homeless seniors.

“Vermont Villas is one of the first developments to utilize these two program subsidies together,” Schaffer says.

All of Vermont Villas’ units will be set aside for older adults with special needs who are homeless, suffer from chronic illness or physical disability, or often use public health services. Fifty of these units will be additionally targeted to veterans. Residents will pay 30 percent of their incomes in rent.

Approximately 18 to 20 of the 25 units at Whittier Place Apartments will be set aside for formerly homeless households that include some of the most vulnerable people in the region. Those households taking advantage of the opportunity include families with children under age 6. Among the major selling points of Whittier Place is its convenient proximity to public transportation.

To build Vermont Villas, Enterprise is partnering with two organizations, Affirmed Housing Group and PATH Ventures. It is working in partnership with East L.A. Community Corporation to build Whittier Place Apartments.

Like many major cities, Los Angeles has a great need for quality, affordable housing, especially for special needs populations. On any given night in Los Angeles County, Schaffer says, at least 3,000 children under age 5 are homeless, according to a study commission by First 5 LA.

“Whittier Place will provide a foundation that gives families a fair shot at success,” he adds. “Studies show that kids who are homeless or in unstable or poor quality housing are more likely to have serious physical health problems and suffer from a developmental disability or a mental health issue. They’re also less likely to graduate from high school and more likely to abuse substances or spend time in jail.

“Vermont Villas is more than just shelter and provides its residents with critical access to supportive services for their health and general well-being.”