Monday, April 22, 2024

Crews break ground on $57.7M affordable housing complex in Cambodia Town

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Construction crews have broken ground on a five-story, mixed-use, 108-unit residential complex at the southeast corner of Anaheim Street and Petersen Avenue—just west of Walnut Avenue—near Cambodia Town in Central Long Beach.

The complex will be entirely dedicated to affordable and transitional housing, with 88 units for low income households that are earning 30% to 60% of the median income as federally defined within a given area—while 20 units will be reserved for seniors who have previously experienced homelessness.

“Building and maintaining quality, affordable housing options in Long Beach continues to be of top priority,” said Mayor Robert Garcia in a press release. “The Anaheim & Walnut development will provide 88 affordable units and is another great project that will provide modern, sustainable housing and services to enhance the quality of life of residents and older adults who need it most.”

A partnership with the Long Beach Community Investment Company—which gap-funded the project with a loan of $3.6M in June of 2019—the Housing Authority of Long Beach, BRIDGE Housing, and TCC Family Health, the project is expected to cost $57.7M upon completion in 2023. According to the city, the project will consist of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments joining commercial office space and a health clinic/wellness center operated by TCC.

This project brings up some important aspects of the overall housing conversation so I would like to jump into some of those topics. The larger links provided go into depth about what these concepts are, research links, and more.

The larger discussion surrounding affordable housing and affordability within housing—two separate concepts—is coming to an apex not just in Long Beach but in California as a whole as it continues to see housing supply dwindle and costs skyrocket.On one hand, you have what I call “Affordable Housing with a Capital A,” that is, housing with a direct connection to the federal definition of poverty, meaning a family has to make a certain percentage of the median income within an area in order to access it.

Within Long Beach, there has been both delays and steps forward: Its inclusionary housing ordinance, which requires housing developers of market rate complexes to either include affordable units or contribute to an affordable housing fund, was just recently passed.

But given the delay in its passing, the massive boom in development that is currently taking place across the city has been waived of the ordinance’s requirements since the projects were entitled before the ordinance was passed. Had the ordinance been passed, say, five years beforehand, it is likely that either hundreds of affordable units would have constructed in addition to the mass of market rate units or millions of dollars would have been put into an affordable housing fund to build more affordable units.

The complex will be located at 1500 E. Anaheim St.

Brian Addison
Brian Addison
Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 25 nominations and three additional wins. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.

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