Housing Authority remodels 35 affordable family apartments

Housing Authority remodels 35 affordable family apartments

Staff Report

The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara has completed the renovation of two 1970s-era public housing projects through a relatively new federal program that allows the leveraging of private investment to do the work, city officials said.

The city’s Pearl Gardens and Sycamore Gardens family housing properties, home to 35 families, received new energy-efficiency appliances, new windows, roofing, siding, flooring, cabinets, tankless water heaters and photovoltaic solar panels to reduce electric grid burden.

The public-private rehabilitation project was made possible through the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) in combination with funding through the Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program.

This marks the Housing Authority’s first renovation completed under RAD, which was created to help preserve the nation’s affordable-housing inventory by keeping it from being converted to market-rate housing.

Officials estimate that this new model will preserve nearly 500 units of affordable housing for working families and low-income seniors and veterans in Santa Barbara.

“These projects have completely transformed Pearl and Sycamore Gardens to beautiful homes where our residents are proud to live,” said Rob Fredericks, executive director and CEO of the Housing Authority. “Without this major work, we may have been forced to give these units up to market rate housing, which would have further constrained the supply of local affordable housing and could have pushed these families out of the area or into substandard housing.”

Pearl Gardens, at 13-21 South Soledad Street, consists of 15 family units — 12 three-bedroom and three four-bedroom units. Sycamore Gardens, at 211-221 Sycamore Lane, consists of 20 three-bedroom townhouses.

“It’s our duty to bring programs to the community in order to create and sustain affordable housing,” Fredericks said.

Project partners, lenders and consultants include Garden Court Inc. and 2nd Story Associates, both nonprofit corporations; Union Bank; California Community Reinvestment Corp; Paul Thimmig of Quint & Thimmig; Adam Diskin and Russell Hirsch of DH&G; and Mark Manion of Price, Postel & Parma.

For more information about the Housing Authority, visit www.hacsb.org.