Community HousingWorks completes renovations
ESCONDIDO (April 4, 2017) — On Wednesday, April 5, at 11 a.m. Community HousingWorks (CHW) will join partners and residents in celebrating the completion of renovations at Manzanita, formerly called Cypress Cove Apartments.
“Rents throughout the state continue to rise, making it more and more challenging for families to afford the basics – like food and medicine – making it increasingly important to preserve affordable housing, which is what all of us have achieved at Manzanita,” said CHW’s President and CEO Sue Reynolds.
Originally built in 1977, the combination of large, two-story townhomes and flats make the community a safe home for families with children as well as singles and seniors. However, the regulations that keep the rents affordable for lower income working families were going to expire in 15 years. CHW purchased the property in 2014, extended the affordable rents for 55 years and invested $8.83 million in renovations using low-income housing tax credits, bond financing and funds from the City of Escondido.
“Maintaining affordable housing is a huge challenge. We feel very fortunate that CHW chose to renovate the Cypress Cove community, which not only provides affordable housing for families, but a sense of stability and the tools needed to get ahead,” said Escondido Mayor Sam Abed, who, along with the City Council, has been a great local partner and long-time advocate of upgrading and maintaining affordable housing.
A leader in green building practices, CHW made a point to include numerous green upgrades during the rehabilitation, including installing energy-efficient windows, a solar photovoltaic system and domestic solar hot water that will reduce utility costs for residents. CHW improved energy efficiency at Manzanita by more than 35 percent.
Additional upgrades included new HVAC systems, plumbing upgrades, Wi-Fi and replacing all of the balconies. Residents also now enjoy two swimming pools, a basketball court, two playgrounds, picnic tables, a large grassy open space, barbecues, park benches and an on-site laundry facility.
“Losing these units to market rate housing would have been devastating for us. The renovations are a tremendous change. Along with upgrades to the aprtments, CHW brought the unusable community center back to life,” said resident Antonio Navarro.
Once called the “Haunted House” by neighborhood children, the renovated community center now houses a management office and provides a modern space for CHW’s award-winning resident services programs, including courses on business training and financial planning for adult residents and after-school programs and tutoring sessions for children. The community building also includes a kitchen, computer center and small library.
“We like investing in properties that prioritize modern, sustainable features like solar energy. With Manzinita, we saw an opportunity to combine our commitment to the environment with our commitment to bring affordable housing to underserved areas,” said Sebastian Glowacki, vice president at U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, a division of U.S. Bank--one of the lenders who partnered with CHW on this project.
Union Bank also was integral in helping CHW rehab the apartments. “As a leading affordable housing lender and tax credit investor, we’re happy to partner with Community HousingWorks, an organization that also shares our commitment to green initiatives, to help bring sustainable, affordable housing to areas that need it most,” said Johanna Gullick, Managing Directorat Union Bank.
CHW is proud to add Manzanita – its 8th affordable community in Escondido – to its family and help preserve affordable housing for generations to come.
Photos: Click here to view and download before and after images of the community.
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 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.
Media contact: Tony Manolatos