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Boyle Heights Community Celebrates Grand Opening of $103 Million Affordable Housing Development, Leaving behind Memory of Crime-Ridden Environment.

Business & News Editors

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 2, 2003

Mayor Jim Hahn, Councilmember Antonio Villaraigosa, School Board

President Jose Huizar, Residents and Community Leaders Hail Local

Efforts, Benefiting 470 Families

The Boyle Heights community celebrated a new beginning today at the grand opening of the Pueblo Del Sol mixed-income housing development, benefiting local families. The development, which replaces the dilapidated, crime-ridden housing project known as Aliso Village, is the largest public housing revitalization in California. The celebration included Los Angeles Mayor Jim Hahn, Councilmember Antonio Villaraigosa, LAUSD School Board President Jose Huizar, residents, community leaders and representatives from the development team of The Related Companies of California and McCormack Baron Salazar.

The development's innovative design concept is constructed as a sustainable living environment that incorporates 470 mixed-income housing units and educational and recreational facilities with community supportive facilities (i.e., two community centers with an exercise room and pool and a park with new play equipment) and services such as job training and after-school programs, computer learning classes and general social services. Additionally, Pueblo Del Sol incorporates the existing LAUSD Utah Elementary School into the center of the development.

"Pueblo Del Sol has transformed a community once plagued with crime and violence into a safe and vibrant neighborhood where parents can feel comfortable allowing their children to play outside. This development is truly a victory for the people of Boyle Heights and the former residents of Aliso Village," said Mayor Jim Hahn. "Projects like Pueblo Del Sol are an important example of how the private and public sectors are working together to rebuild, revitalize and invigorate the neighborhoods of Los Angeles."

This $103 million development was created through a unique public/private partnership among the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, The Related Companies of California, McCormack Baron Salazar, SunAmerica Affordable Housing Partners and the Los Angeles Unified School District. Fifty-two million dollars of private equity was raised through the sale of Low Income Housing Tax Credits that were syndicated by AIF SunAmerica and sold to Fannie Mae.

"Our approach with Pueblo Del Sol was to create a mixed-income neighborhood of the highest quality that includes community space and services and has a blend of for-sale and rental housing. We became involved in this project because we believe in this community. We can make a difference by providing affordable housing that is just as competitive with market-rate residences," expressed Pueblo Del Sol co-developers William Witte, principal, The Related Companies of California and Tony Salazar, president, McCormack Baron Salazar.

In 1999, Aliso Village was well known for having no less than ten separate gangs, dilapidated facilities and deteriorating living conditions, affecting the stability of the community. Families lived in fear within their own homes and children had limited space for recreational purposes. The project was isolated and had little community space and facilities. When Pueblo Del Sol was completed, Aliso Village residents, who had suffered such difficult conditions, were given the opportunity to have a new beginning by applying for housing in the development first, before it opened to the general public.

"I have two children and used to live in a rundown Aliso Village apartment which was torn down to build Pueblo Del Sol. We were given the opportunity to apply for this new housing first and we now live in a brand new town house where my children don't have to worry about gang violence on their walk home, through the development, to the bus stop, where we have our very own new washer and dryer and where we meet and get to know our neighbors through the many community services it offers," said Maria Elena Lopez, Pueblo Del Sol resident.

Pueblo Del Sol is built under the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) well-regarded Hope VI program, which includes four key elements to strengthen the overall community: changing the physical shape of public housing; establishing comprehensive services that empower residents; promoting mixed-income communities; and forging partnerships with other agencies, local governments, nonprofit organizations and private businesses to leverage support and resources.

The development will attract a mixed-income community of large families with incomes ranging from 20% to 60% of the median income. Of the total rental units, 60% will be set aside for public housing families and 40% will be affordable to households with incomes at less that 60% of the median income. Rents will range from $368 for a two bedroom to $948 for a four-bedroom unit.

Pueblo Del Sol has an innovative design, offering 377 two-, three- and four-bedroom affordable housing rental units. The units are designed with private entrances and include washers and dryers, modern kitchens with dishwashers, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, garbage disposals and refrigerators and garages with ample storage space. In addition to the 377 affordable rental apartments, The Lee Group of Marina Del Rey, will be constructing 93 for-sale homes. This new community, called Vista Del Sol, will include 27 homes to be sold to former public housing residents.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 2, 2003
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