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Glendale affordable housing complex gets new lease on life

August 24, 2012|By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com

Glendale’s oldest affordable housing complex is set to receive $20 million in private revenue bonds to help keep rent below market rates for residents at the 34-year-old building for another 55 years.

It’s a welcome extension since it may take at least 10 years to house the nearly 940 people on the closed waiting list for Casa de la Paloma’s coveted one-bedroom apartments.

Residents at the facility must be older than 55. Once they move in, they tend to either stay there for life or until they move into a nursing home.

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The average single resident at Casa de la Paloma, 133 S. Kenwood St., has an annual income of about $11,000 and the average couple has a yearly income of about $17,000, said Jacqueline Seegobin, the nonprofit’s director of affordable housing. Unit rental is 30% of the resident’s income.

The bonds require Casa de la Paloma to remain affordable for another 55 years. To do that, it plans to extend a federal contract that provides rental subsidies for all 167 units, also known as Section 8.

The building is also in need of several repairs that its developer, Southern California Presbyterian Homes, can’t cover without the bonds.

The City Council on Tuesday approved the bonds, although they will be issued by the California Municipal Finance Authority, a joint powers group that supports economic development.

“It’s something we basically put our stamp of approval on,” said Councilman Ara Najarian.

About $5 million of the $20 million bond issuance will go toward 18 months of repair work set to begin in January, said Ben Beckler, vice president of facilities and project development for Southern California Presbyterian Homes. The rest of the money will be spent on improvements needed over time.

Repairs include improving disability access, lighting in the parking lot, exterior painting and new heating and air conditioning systems, according to a city report.

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Follow Brittany Levine on Google+ or Twitter:@brittanylevine

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