Green Affordable Housing Development Opens in Orange County, Calif.

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorAnaheim, Calif.—Diamond Apartment Homes, a green multifamily development designed to provide housing and mental health supportive services for previously homeless individuals and their families, recently celebrated its grand opening.The $9.8 million community, which offers 15 one- and 10 two-bedroom units in a three-story building, was developed by Jamboree Housing Corporation, an Irvine, Calif.-based nonprofit housing developer, and H.O.M.E.S. Inc. (Helping Our Mentally Ill Experience Success)—an Orange County-based nonprofit organization that provides housing and support for people with psychiatric disabilities—in conjunction with the City of Anaheim, Anaheim Housing Authority and Anaheim Redevelopment Agency.Designed by KTGY Group Inc., Architecture and Planning, Diamond Apartment Homes will provide housing to 25 families who earn 30 percent of the area median income. Monthly rents range from $523 to $627 for units that are between 700 and 875 sq. ft.Diamond Apartment Homes is just one portion of the City of Anaheim’s commitment to affordable housing. In fact, the city plans to expand the housing stock to more than 1,400 units in five years, and it has purchased five parcels of an Interstate freeway expansion from the Orange County Transit Authority to recycle these properties back into use.Diamond Apartment Homes is one of three affordable housing properties awarded to Jamboree for development.“The architectural elements help return something back to the community, not only to house but to help reconnect people and neighborhoods where the I-5 widening has reshaped this part of town,” says David Obitz, principal at KTGY. This development will be Jamboree’s first GreenPoint Rated community. Diamond Apartment Homes exceeds Title 24 energy efficiency standards by 16.5 percent. In addition, the community earns points for its site selection and design—including an urban, high-density compact design of 29.1 units per acre and its close proximity to two bus lines—job site construction and demolition waste recycling, and landscaping using low-water and native, drought-tolerant plants. The development features low-mercury fluorescent lamps, a high-efficiency hot water boiler, and air conditioning with non-HCFC refrigerants, and all units include Energy Star appliances and low-flow fixtures.A 2,500-sq.-ft. resident services center features case management offices, a teaching kitchen, multi-purpose room and computer lab. The outdoor recreation area has a tot lot and picnic area. In addition, ongoing supportive services will enable residents to live in permanent housing with a stable environment. H.O.M.E.S. will ensure that services at Diamond meet the needs of residents, and Telecare Corp., the Orange County Healthcare Agency’s innovative mental health services partner, will assist residents with 24/7 availability for support of daily living activities and link them to other supportive and independent living services. Jamboree’s Housing with HEART (Helping Educate, Activate and Respond Together) will offer free, non-clinical, on-site programs and services tailored to meet the needs of residents. These programs will include homework assistance and tutoring, consumer credit counseling, ESL classes, financial literacy and pre-employment counseling. Financing for the development was made possible through the California Department of Housing & Community Development Multifamily Housing Program, Governor’s Homeless Initiative, the California Housing Finance Agency, Orange County Housing and Community Services, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco-Affordable Housing Program, Orange County Health Care Agency, and tax credit syndication was made available by WNC & Associates.Photo Credit: Juan Tallo