NEW LAKE FOREST AFFORDABLE APARTMENT COMMUNITY FOR OLDER ADULTS CELEBRATES OPENING
California-based nonprofit affordable housing developer Community HousingWorks celebrates its first community in Orange County with the opening of Portola Senior Apartments
LAKE FOREST – November 14, 2023 – Community HousingWorks (CHW) celebrated the opening of Portola Senior Apartments, a new community for older adults in Lake Forest, on Monday. CHW’s first community in Orange County, Portola Senior Apartments is built as a standalone four-story building with ground-floor retail space. The building has 58 one-bedroom apartments (including one designated for an on-site property manager) for singles or couples 62 years and older who are living on 50% of the area median income (AMI) or less (approximately $50,000 per year). Portola Senior Apartments is designed to promote dignified aging-in-place with features such as an elevator, on-site laundry, ADA-compliant bathrooms and kitchens, and access to nearby walking trails and public transit.
CHW President and CEO Sean Spear remarked that CHW provides quality housing for working families, people with special needs, as well as seniors. “Our emphasis is not only on building a quality place to live but also to come alongside [residents] and provide services to help them better their lives.” Spear explained that CHW’s work “is about making sure residents remain connected to their families and their communities.”
California State Assemblymember Diane Dixon commented on how difficult it is to develop affordable housing, despite how much it’s needed. “[Portola] works because it takes a quality developer who understands affordable housing and financing,” she said.
The Portola Senior Apartments community also includes designated parking, a multi-purpose room with a kitchen, and outdoor seating. In addition, residents will receive free public transportation passes, free high-speed internet in each apartment, and access to on-site classes focused on adult education, health and wellness, and skill building. Over 750 people applied to live in Portola within three months of opening the interest list and the apartments were 100% occupied in less than 30 days after opening. Rent is $1,264 per month (after a utility allowance) and the waiting list currently has more than 1,000 applicants.
Jackie and Patrick Rosetti are residents at Portola Senior Apartments who shared their experience with homelessness and how moving into Portola has changed their lives. Jackie explained, “Providing a new, affordable, beautiful complex of apartments with a wonderful, diverse community in a remarkable neighborhood ended our homelessness, profoundly changed our lives, relieved and encouraged our friends and family, put us closer to friends and family, our church, reduced drive times and saved us lots of money in gas. For that, Pat and I are grateful.”
Funding sources for Portola Senior Apartments included Pacific Western Bank as the construction and permanent financing lender; Red Stone Equity Partners as the tax credit equity investor; SunRanch Capital Partners, LLC as the soft lender; and tax-exempt bonds issued by California Municipal Finance Authority, California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, and the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee. The development team included general contractor Sunrise Pacific Construction, Inc.; architectural firm AVRP Studios; civil engineering firms Lundstrom Engineering & Surveying and Hunsaker & Associates; and landscape architect Ridge Landscape Architects.
The opening ceremony took place Monday, November 13, 2023, at 931 Portola Oaks Drive in Lake Forest, California, at 10:00 a.m. Speakers included Lake Forest Mayor Doug Cirbo, 72nd assembly district Assemblymember Diane Dixon, Baldwin & Sons Chief Operating Officer Nick Lee, Community HousingWorks Board Chair Donald Ambrose, and Community HousingWorks President and CEO Sean Spear.
About Community HousingWorks
Founded in 1988, Community HousingWorks is a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that develops, rehabilitates, preserves, and operates affordable apartment communities in California and Texas. Community HousingWorks owns over 4,200 apartments in 47 communities, serving more than 11,000 working families, children, and older adults. In addition to providing working families and seniors with stable homes in healthy communities, Community HousingWorks layers in powerful programs, services, and connections to resources. These tools help people attain financial stability, improve their health and overall well-being, and set up school-age children for success in the classroom and beyond. Community HousingWorks is an exemplary ranked member of the national NeighborWorks Network®, an award-winning affiliate of UnidosUS and a member of the prestigious Housing Partnership Network. To learn more, visit chworks.org