LINC Housing Starts Construction of 95 New Affordable Homes in Long Beach; The Spark at Midtown to Serve Formerly Homeless and Low-Income Households

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The Spark at Midtown in Long Beach, California, will ignite the Midtown area into a thriving and livable community. As one of the first developments under Long Beach’s Midtown Specific Plan, the community will promote healthy living, education and opportunity, neighborhood engagement, and connectivity. Half of the 95 homes are for individuals and families that have been homeless. The other half will serve families earning up to 60% of area median income.

Supervisor Janice Hahn (third from left) and Long Beach Vice Mayor Dee Andrews (second from left) help with the ceremonial ground break for The Spark at Midtown in Long Beach.

“This is an innovative project that works to address our housing crisis from every angle..." said Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn joined LINC Housing, county and city officials, and other partners to celebrate the start of construction of The Spark at Midtown, a 95-unit affordable housing community for low-income families and people who have experienced homelessness.

“This is an innovative project that works to address our housing crisis from every angle -lifting individuals out of homelessness, preventing low-income families from falling into homelessness, and providing wrap-around services through the County that keep residents happy, healthy, and housed,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn, who helped secure $10.7 million of county funds for the project. “These are the kinds of developments that help neighborhoods to thrive, and we have a great nonprofit partner like LINC Housing working to ensure this project succeeds.”

The Spark at Midtown, located at 1900 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach, California 90806, will ignite the Midtown area into a thriving and livable community. As one of the first developments under Long Beach’s Midtown Specific Plan, the community will promote healthy living, education and opportunity, neighborhood engagement, and connectivity. Half of the 95 homes are for individuals and families that have been homeless. The other half will serve families earning up to 60% of area median income.

"LINC has been headquartered in Long Beach since 1997, and we've been looking for more ways to bring our community development expertise to our own backyard," said Rebecca Clark, LINC President and CEO. "We believe The Spark at Midtown will be one of our flagship properties - a new community that improves people's lives and is an integral part of the fabric of the neighborhood. It's housing, supportive services, and community revitalization - all at the same time. We can't wait to celebrate the grand opening in 2020."

The new community will feature 47 one-bedroom, 24 two-bedroom and 24 three-bedroom homes. Community areas include multi-purpose spaces to house a variety of resident programs as well as private meeting rooms for service providers and case managers. Other features include, a community room with computer lab, a community garden, and bike amenities. In addition, The Spark at Midtown will be registered with the U.S. Green Building Council and intends to pursue a LEED GOLD certification.            

Partnerships with the Los Angeles County of Department Health Services will allow LINC to serve the 47 formerly homeless households with intensive case management services, while all future residents will have access to life-enhancing services through LINC Cares. The ground floor space will house the YMCA of Greater Long Beach's Youth Institute and Change Agent Productions (a social enterprise for youth), the Mental Health America of Los Angeles café for workforce training, and a Dignity Health St. Mary Medical Center health clinic.

The homes reserved for people who have been homeless will be filled by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services through the Coordinated Entry System (CES). The remaining traditional affordable housing units will be filled by referrals from the Long Beach Housing Authority, using project-based vouchers. Most residents will pay 30% of their income for their apartment. Rents range from $415 to $545 for one bedroom, $654 to $1,309 for two bedrooms, and $756 to $1,512 for three bedrooms.

Funding for the $52.6-million development comes from a number of sources including $10.7 million from the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission (combination of County General Funds, Mental Health Housing Program Funds, Measure H Funds, and Homeless Service Center Funds), a loan and impact fee waiver from the Long Beach Community Investment Company, an Infrastructure Infill Grant from the California Department of Housing and Community Development, a conventional loan from Capital One N.A., with permanent financing provided by Century Housing, tax credit equity from Raymond James Tax Credit Funds Inc., and Affordable Housing Program funds from the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco. Additional support was provided by The California Endowment, Wells Fargo Foundation and Enterprise Community Partners.

The Spark at Midtown was designed in collaboration with City Fabrick, D33 Design & Planning, and WHA Architects. The contractor is Walton Construction Services. The new community is due to be completed in late 2020.

About LINC Housing Corporation
LINC Housing, one of California's most productive nonprofit developers of affordable housing, is committed to building communities and strengthening neighborhoods for people underserved by the marketplace. LINC has helped create more than 8,000 homes in 79 communities throughout the state. The organization's properties are known for excellent design, outstanding management and life-enhancing services for its residents. LINC has 35 years of service to families, seniors, people with special needs, and local governments - helping to create sustainable communities via new construction, acquisition and rehabilitation, and historic preservation. Visit http://www.linchousing.org for more information.

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