7th and H Dedication
On April 29, 2013, Mercy Housing California and WellSpace Health celebrated the Grand Opening of the 7th & H Apartments. 7th & H is an eight-story, mixed-use, affordable housing community comprised of 150 studios and one-bedroom apartments with abundant upper floor common areas, including lush outdoor terraces, comprehensive resident services, a 5,000 square foot health center on the ground floor and two retail spaces. Half of the apartments are for formerly homeless residents and the remaining 75 are for residents earning 40 to 50 percent of the Area Median Income. The property, which opened in January, is now fully occupied.
Nearly 300 people and supporters attended the event. Local, state and national elected officials including Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Supervisor Phil Serna and Councilmember Steven Hansen emphasized the importance of creating permanent, supportive housing for ending homelessness and providing exceptional workforce housing options. Long time philanthropic partner and lender, Wells Fargo Bank, marked their relationship with Mercy Housing California at the event with a generous check presentation.
Representatives from WellSpace Health, Sutter Health, Wells Fargo Bank, the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency, the County of Sacramento, the California Housing Finance Agency and the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco joined the event as well.
El Monte Veterans Village
Construction on El Monte Veterans Village continues in San Gabriel Valley. With the count of homeless veterans in Los Angeles County at an all-time high, the City of El Monte, Mercy Housing California and New Directions, a veterans service provider, partnered together to develop the El Monte Veterans Village.
This state-of-the-art facility will be the first of its kind within the San Gabriel Valley and will include 40 studio apartments and 2,400 square feet of common-area space designed to support homeless veterans. Adjacent to the Veterans of Foreign Wars facility and downtown El Monte, the El Monte Veterans Village are designed and located to provide veterans with easy access to service and transportation amenities in the greater Los Angeles area. Construction is expected to be completed in February 2014.
New Dana Strand Phase IV
In January, the development team of Mercy Housing California and Abode Communities was selected by the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles to develop the final phase of family housing at the New Dana Strand housing community in Wilmington, CA. Mercy and Abode developed the first two phases of housing in 2005 and will complete the build-out of New Dana Strand with up to 200 additional family apartments. Mercy Housing will begin this year and the team expects to begin construction by late 2014.
Across the country, public housing authorities are struggling with large cuts in federal appropriations and physically deteriorated apartment complexes. Mercy Housing California is currently working with the housing authorities in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Sacramento on three large-scale revitalization projects aimed at replacing outdated homes with mixed income and environmentally sustainable communities. In the near future, we expect to engage in more work with housing authorities as they look to create public-private partnerships to renovate other apartment buildings that need significant work. Mercy hopes to bring not only our financing and project management expertise, but also our focus on services, to these efforts.