Long Beach development provides stable housing for a mix of residents | Housing Finance Magazine

Jim Simmons Photography
Vistas del Puerto offers 47 affordable homes in Long Beach, California.

Vistas del Puerto by Clifford Beers Housing in Long Beach, California is helping to ease the affordable housing crisis in the area. The development offers 47 units, half for those with chronic conditions and those who have experienced homelessness and the remainder for large families and low-income households, as well as a management unit.

“In this development, there are larger family units that can accommodate up to seven people,” says Audrey Peterson, director of nonprofit housing. “It really brings the numbers down when you look at the total number of people served rather than the units, and it makes the impact even bigger. Having stable housing is important for every resident.

In the 2020 annual tally, Los Angeles County had 66,000 homeless people. After skipping 2021 due to the pandemic, the most recent count was made earlier this year; Peterson expects even larger numbers.

“From there, we went through a pandemic and a financial crisis, and we know that number is growing,” she says. “There is no region that is exempt from feeling the impact of our homelessness crisis. Long Beach is no exception. And we must remember [the homelessness crisis] is just the tip of the broader affordability crisis. It is all the scales of housing which are necessary.

The interest in Vistas del Puerto demonstrates this need. The development, which was completed in June 2021, was let in four and a half months and has a waiting list.

Close to public transport and neighborhood amenities, the development offers a mix of indoor and outdoor spaces for residents, including courtyards, rooftop edible plantings, communal kitchens, lounge and bike storage. and an on-site laundry room. Each unit also has its own balcony or outdoor space. Additionally, the development is GreenPoint Rated Platinum, with rooftop solar panels that power a thermal hot water system.

“It’s a little piece of paradise in Long Beach,” she says, adding that on a clear day, residents can see Long Beach’s harbor and ocean from the rooftop terrace.

The Clifford Beers Housing development includes a mix of indoor and outdoor spaces for residents.
Jim Simmons Photography
The Clifford Beers Housing development includes a mix of indoor and outdoor spaces for residents.

Vistas del Puerto will also include more than accommodations. Two commercial spaces are reserved for local BIPOCs or women-owned businesses, especially those that have been affected by the pandemic.

For Peterson, the development has been a long journey and a labor of love after submitting a tender to the city, which owns the site, in 2015.

“We are very excited to be part of Long Beach’s mission to provide affordable housing for formerly homeless people,” she said.

The $26.5 million development was funded primarily through 9% low-income housing tax credits, with Wells Fargo serving as the tax credit provider and construction lender. California Community Reinvestment Corp. was the permanent lender, and Long Beach Community Investment Co. and Los Angeles County Development Authority also provided capital for the project. Additionally, the Los Angeles Department of Health Services provides grants to former homeless units.

Other partners include architect KFA Architecture, general contractor Dreyfuss Construction, property manager Levine Management Group, support services provider Mental Health America of Los Angeles and construction manager Primus Building Solutions.

Sara H. Byrd