Community HousingWorks acquisition and renovation preserves affordability of The Groves
Then Community HousingWorks stepped in.
The nonprofit developer was the ideal buyer to achieve the church’s objectives of protecting residents and reinvesting in the property. Using an innovative financing model, Community HousingWorks (CHW) acquired the property in 2015 and succeeded in preserving affordability for future generations while also making sustainability upgrades and quality-of-life enhancements for residents, including free WiFi.
Residents, community leaders and project partners will gather Tuesday to celebrate the completion of renovations and the preservation of critically-needed affordable housing.
In addition to upgrading basic infrastructure, such as new roofs and new plumbing, the renovations included interior upgrades for these 1950s and ’60s-era old apartments and new amenities for residents such as a playground and a community building with a computer lab, leasing office and community room.
The City of Pasadena was a key partner in providing financing to improve the property’s carbon footprint and reduce energy and water usage. Upgrades include solar thermal for heating water, dual-pane windows, high-efficiency furnaces, EnergyStar appliances, low-flow toilets and water-efficient landscaping.
"The City of Pasadena is proud to be a part of this housing success story, especially because it meets our goal of preserving affordable housing,” said Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek. “The enhancements and upgrades are phenomenal, and I am thrilled that this community will maintain its affordable status for decades to come. Current and future residents of The Groves are the real winners."
The Groves consists of two separate properties at 700 E. Mountain St. and 965 N. Raymond Ave. Originally known as Northwest Manors II, the properties together include eight studio apartments, six one-bedroom apartments, 26 two-bedrooms and four apartments with more than two bedrooms. Under the current rent formula, residents will pay maximum rents of $726 for studios, $778 for one-bedrooms and $933 for two-bedrooms. Rents will be restricted for the next 55 years under CHW’s long-term HUD project-based Section 8 rent subsidy contract.
The Groves is CHW’s first community in Pasadena. It is the latest example of CHW’s trailblazing efforts to rescue affordable properties at risk of being sold to for-profit investors. Many affordable communities, especially those financed by HUD Section 236 loans in the early 1970s, are at or near the end of their federally-mandated period of rent restrictions. Among major metropolitan areas in the U.S., the Los Angeles area had the highest percentage of affordable apartments at risk of reverting to market rate in the period between 2015 and 2020, according to the Urban Institute.
“As California’s housing crisis worsens, the need to preserve and enhance this kind of housing is more urgent than ever,” said Sue Reynolds, CHW’s President & CEO.
Media contact: Tony Manolatos
About Community HousingWorks
Community HousingWorks (CHW) is a nationally-recognized non-profit organization that helps people living on low wages and fixed incomes move up in the world, in San Diego and across California, by building and owning stable affordable apartment homes and providing onsite services and opportunities for residents to achieve their dreams. CHW has nearly 30 years of success developing new and renovating existing multi-family, affordable rental apartments in urban, suburban and rural communities. With nearly 3,000 rental apartments in 36 communities statewide, CHW proudly serves more than 8,000 children and adults each year. CHW and our strategic partners deliver onsite programs to give residents the knowledge, tools, and hope to achieve their goals and dreams. As a result, many adult residents are able to get out of debt, improve their credit, and start a practice of saving for the future; and youth have a safe place to learn and grow, improve reading ability, and succeed at school. CHW is an Exemplary-ranked member of the national NeighborWorks Network®, an award-winning affiliate of the National Council of La Raza, and member of the prestigious Housing Partnership Network. Learn more at www.chworks.org.