Jamboree’s Collage Apartments Improve Long Beach Neighborhood

LONG BEACH, CA (October 2, 2012) – Jamboree Housing Corporation’s mission to preserve affordable housing, transform neighborhoods, and build communities is emphatically underscored by its newest development, which just celebrated its grand opening in Long Beach, CA. In partnership with The Long Beach Housing Development Company (LBHDC), Jamboree redeveloped the previously blighted and crime-infested apartment buildings into Collage Apartments – attractive affordable housing for working families.

“The rehabilitation of these properties provides working families with a safe and affordable place to live,” said Long Beach Councilman Dee Andrews, whose district includes the new development. “It revitalizes the neighborhood and helps to attract and retain good residents – making Long Beach a better place to live.”

The acquisition/rehabilitation of the once vacant properties at 1893 to 1911 Pine Avenue that were the hub of ongoing neighborhood criminal activities is part of the community revitalization efforts in Long Beach’s Central Housing Action Plan (HAP) focus area. One of the recommended strategies included in the HAP is to acquire parcels that are currently vacant or have substandard improvements.

“The Long Beach Housing Development Company acquired these properties to further its mission to provide safe and livable neighborhoods in Long Beach,” said Patrick Brown, Chair, LBHDC. “With the dissolution of the Redevelopment Agency and current legislation, we are extremely happy to see this project come to completion.”

The Collage development highlights Jamboree’s commitment to make lower-income neighborhoods a better place to live for all residents by providing quality affordable housing and resident services such as academic achievement for youth and job placement assistance for adults, according to Laura Archuleta, president of Irvine, CA- headquartered Jamboree, one of California’s largest affordable housing developers.

“Collage Apartments is another great example of Jamboree’s commitment to build not only quality affordable housing, but to go beyond that to strengthen an entire neighborhood and community by improving housing options for residents,” she said. “This development also represents our ongoing commitment to engage in partnerships with cities to develop broader community and economic opportunities. More than half of the workers involved in renovating this property were from the Long Beach area.”

Josef Levy, West Division Commander of the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD), pointed out another impressive statistic at the property’s opening – calls for service by the police to this area have been reduced by more than half in recent years. “Thanks to the ongoing, long-term commitment of the City to transform this area once known for frequent foot pursuits, drug dealing and violent crime into a safe, inclusive, respectful community. With the commitment of the residents at Collage, we will reduce service calls even more,” said Levy, indicating that a neighborhood watch program is being initiated and residents have been asked to participate in bi-monthly leadership forums with the LBPD West Division.

Once unsafe for occupancy with a multitude of illegal conversions, the buildings that now make up Collage have been transformed from 17 rundown apartment units into 12 two-bedroom and two three-bedroom apartments. As part of the total reconstruction, four of the previous units were combined to create larger floor plans for families.

The property now features enclosed garage spaces, a new 494-square-foot community room with a kitchenette and bathroom, a tot lot, courtyard, resident garden, bike racks, and laundry facilities. Each home is fully renovated and modernized to include new windows, doors, drywall, kitchen and bathroom countertops, cabinetry, plumbing and electrical fixtures, and appliances. The apartments also promote sustainability with ENERGY STAR appliances, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and low and no-VOC paint and coatings.

Collage Apartments are available to residents who earn between 50% and 60% of the area median income (AMI). For example, a family of four earning $67,450 (60% AMI) pays about $824/month in rent for their two-bedroom home. Rents range from approximately $678 to $917 per month based on family size and income level. The renovated apartments were almost immediately rented and occupied.

Along with quality housing, Collage residents are provided an array of educational, employment and social services by Jamboree’s Resident Services Group that complements Jamboree’s belief in creating communities that provide opportunities and resources for residents to enrich the quality of family life. These programs focus on academic achievement for young people, family health and fitness, and community-building activities. These services are offered at Jamboree’s nearby Puerto del Sol apartment homes.

“Collage Apartments are a symbol of the value of renovating blighted housing into quality workforce housing,” said Archuleta. “We believe that acquiring and rehabilitating marginal housing stock could provide significant opportunities to create new affordable housing, not only here in Long Beach but throughout California. The funding necessary to acquire and renovate these properties is within reach of most local governments and the benefits for the community and its residents are substantial.”

Architecture and landscape architecture services for Collage Apartments were provided by Studio One Eleven and the general contractor was SBI Builders, Inc. The John Stewart Company is responsible for property management.

About Jamboree: Founded in 1990, Irvine, CA-headquartered Jamboree Housing Corporation is an award-winning, broad- based nonprofit housing development company that develops, acquires, renovates and manages permanently affordable rental and ownership housing throughout California for working families, seniors and people with special needs. HOMES, Inc. and Housing with HEART are 501(c)(3) organizations and comprise Jamboree’s Resident Services Group. A leading nonprofit developer, Jamboree is committed to sustaining excellence with high quality affordable housing that is good for the environment, the economy and local communities. It currently has about $155 million in affordable housing projects in its development pipeline and a $1 billion asset portfolio that includes the development of and/or ownership interest in more than 6,700 homes in more than 67 California communities. Currently, Housing with HEART programs and services that foster learning, health and community building are offered at 39 Jamboree communities with designated staff at each location. For more information, go to www.jamboreehousing.com.

About The Long Beach Housing Development Company: The Long Beach Housing Development Company was established by the City of Long Beach in 1989 to assist in the creation and development of affordable housing. The LBHDC’s mission is to provide safe and livable neighborhoods in Long Beach by promoting, developing, and preserving decent, safe and affordable housing for the very low-, low- and moderate-income residents of Long Beach. The LBHDC offers a range of low cost financing, subsidies and other forms of financial assistance to encourage the development of affordable housing that improves the quality of life of the residents it serves. For more information, go to www.lbhdc.org.

About the Housing Action Plan: In 2004, the City of Long Beach adopted a Housing Action Plan (HAP) to serve as a framework for the allocation of scarce housing resources. Its intent is to maximize investment of these resources to benefit as many residents as possible, and at the same time, revitalize and stabilize Long Beach neighborhoods.

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