Community Affordable Housing Strategies Alliance

COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATIONS


Committee Name: Public Housing, Section 8, Homeless and Special Housing Needs

Date of Report: November 15, 2006 (amended)

(Incorporates Public Comments Received on November 1 and 2, 2006)

Prepared by: Alicia Hancock Apfel, Esq., Vice-Chair

Committee’s Mission Statement:

The Public Housing, Section 8, Homeless and Special Housing Needs Committee of the Community Affordable Housing Strategies Alliance’s (CASHA) mission is to evaluate current policies affecting the availability of public housing, Section 8 housing, homeless and special needs housing to those in need; if necessary, recommend changes and develop action plan.

The purpose of the series of meetings held by this Committee was to examine current data and policies having an impact on areas of concern, evaluate their effectiveness, and recommend changes, improvements or enhancements

UNDERSTANDING THE NEED

Housing Needs of Miami-Dade County

  • Miami-Dade County Department of Planning’s Housing Needs Analysis of Housing Need by Income for 2000-2015 shows a projected increase of 34,120 very-low income households and 21,395 low-income households.

  • Very-low and low-income households will require 2,529 and 1,571 units a year through 2015 and 3,213 and 1,759 units a year from 2015 in each of these groups, respectively.

  • Families at less than 30% of median income are competing for housing against those at 50-80% of median income.

  • According to the Shimberg Center's Florida Housing Data's Clearinghouse, there are nearly 70,000 households under 30% of the area median income that pay 50% or more of their income for rent, yet none of the Miami-Dade County administered housing development funds require developers to target this income group, except those funds awarded through the Homeless Trust.

  • Households by Income and Cost Burden, Miami-Dade County, 2005:

Frame1

  • According to the Demographic Profile of the Extremely Low Income Household, prepared by the Florida Housing Finance corporation with Shimberg Center data, 28% of Extremely Low Income (ELI) households are headed by persons 62 years of age or older. 65% of ELI households are small 1-2 member households. 38% of ELI households have a disability. 47% of ELI earn wages, yet 36% of those employed, earned $7,000 or less a year. 63% of ELI households are cost burdened.
  • Based on the Affordable Housing Supply Analysis by Miami Economic Associates, Distribution of Rental Units 2005, only 33% of the 310,000 units are affordable to very-low income families; the majority of the homeless and special needs population are very-low income.

  • About 62% of the 7,538 persons who received Ryan White Title I case management services during a 12-month period, according to the Projection of HIV/AIDS Housing Need In Miami-Dade Metropolitan Division August 2006, have incomes equal to or less than the federal poverty. All of these households (4,701) require some form of housing assistance (rental assistance or subsidized affordable housing) based on housing burden in Miami-Dade: In Miami-Dade County, individuals living at the federal poverty level had to pay over 88% of their monthly income to afford the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a zero bedroom unit or over 100% for a one-bedroom unit during the data period. A household of three living at the federal poverty level had to pay over 72% of its monthly income for a two-bedroom unit. Another 1,832 households who were not captured in the Ryan White data, are believed to be in a similar predicament. After taking into account existing housing resources (approx. 1,126 households assisted under HOPWA and154 reporting Section 8 housing assistance), there are an estimated 5,246 households living with HIV/AIDS and at or below poverty level in desperate need of subsidized housing.

  • The Homeless Trust’s analysis dated 4/2006 shows that 2,247 homeless persons need permanent housing.

  • The data makes clear that the housing needs of the extremely and very-low income population must be the County’s priority.

  • The Committee adopted the following income categories: Extremely Low Income (ELI) means households at 30% Area Median Income ($11,750 annual income for one person, $16,750 for family of four); Very Low Income (VLI) means households at 50% Area Median Income ($19,550 annual income for one person, $ $27,950 for family of four) and Low Income (LI) means households at 80% Area Median Income ($31,300 annual income for one person, $ 44,700 for family of four). Persons with fixed income meaning typically a person on SSI Disability with income roughly at 18% of AMI, well below the ELI category.

  • Federal funding for the public housing and Section 8 programs is not keeping pace with housing need in Miami-Dade County.

  • Greater emphasis on rental housing development is key to addressing housing needs of low, very and extremely low income households. Current policy focus on homeownership offers limited options to families below 50% of area median income

  • Deeply subsidized, low-cost housing needed for the very poor population--up to 30% of area median income- as well as supportive services funding for special needs populations

  • While recent state policy changes are encouraging, the State of Florida does not provide adequate resources to build housing for the very poor.

  • Policies must result in mixed-income housing combining market rate housing with deep-subsidy for the very poor.

Additional Analysis Required:

  • Data needs to be obtained from identified sources to determine the housing needs of the elderly, persons with cognitive disabilities, mobility disabilities, sensory disabilities, mental illness, substance abuse, and persons transitioning from nursing homes (hereafter referred to as “special need” populations”).

  • Analysis of central housing inventory database to determine universe of existing and pipeline affordable housing stock in Miami-Dade County funded by state, county or local government. Database must capture, by project location, unduplicated affordable units, funders and amount of contributions, government units responsible for compliance, income and target population restrictions, and affordability periods.

  • Miami-Dade County Department of Planning’s Housing Needs Analysis of Housing Need by Income for 2000-2105 should be updated in response to the 2005 American Community Survey (U.S. Census Bureau).

RECOMMENDATIONS

Master Planning for Housing Need & Coordinated Implementation

  • Master planning around housing need and funding for all income levels and special needs must be improved. Housing plan must include specific production goals and accomplishment dates.

  • A full accounting of resources available to address housing development must take place.

  • Resources must be directed towards housing development based on greatest need and where market response is less certain.

  • The Plan must involve the whole community in the process, promote development of integrated communities; mix/integrate/mainstream very poor, workforce housing, and higher-income families together, including special need populations, combining market rate housing with deep-subsidy for the very poor. Projects should reflect neighborhood revitalization goals, incorporate commercial and community uses, and be in close proximity to transportation (Metrorail), employment, day care facilities, and community-based medical and social services. This will require greater coordination between housing and economic development activities as well as coordination of neighborhood-based social services.

  • Increase communication between the County and municipalities to ensure that all funders are working towards same housing goals and to avoid delays in development of affordable housing in the context of greater economic redevelopment efforts.

  • Increase collaboration between the County and municipalities to maximize land use, reduce delays in housing development, effectuate changes to density codes and zoning requirements, and increase coordination of funding activities between the County and the municipalities

  • At a minimum, thirty percent of units developed under the HOME, GOB, Surtax and SHIP Programs (at the state, county and local levels) should be affordable to households at 30% of median income, with additional provisions targeting persons with disabilities.

  • Any County-owned and non-County owned land identified for housing development must incorporate affordable, accessible housing for extremely low and very low income households.

  • The county-wide housing goals should include target for the number of Fair Housing-accessible units based on best available data on physically disabled living in Miami-Dade County (i.e. CHAS data). At a minimum, non-federal funding programs should adopt a minimum standard of requiring at least 5% of a project’s units to be ADA-accessible.

  • Improve MDHA staff training on serving persons with disabilities.

  • Housing programs must also require that developers apply universal design features in addition to required compliance with the ADA design standards to allow greater flexibility in housing stock.

  • Improve process releasing County-owned land to municipalities and developers.

  • Create one-stop housing center(s) where citizens can go to learn about local housing programs and resources. Homebuyers should be offered not only pre-purchase counseling, but post-purchase support.

  • The County must adopt as a legislative priority the full funding of the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust (i.e. removing the cap on funds generated by the Sadowski Act).


Promote Deconcentration, Fair Housing and Mixed-Income Housing

  • Establish policies that integrate communities; mix/integrate/mainstream very poor, workforce housing, and higher-income families together, including special need populations, into mainstream community, combining market rate housing with deep-subsidy for the very poor.

  • Ensure that the use of HUD funds promote deconcentration of poverty.

  • Promote housing for the extremely poor in areas near transportation facilities.

  • Promote legislation to include “source of income” as a protected class in Miami-Dade County for housing participants meeting eligibility requirements.

  • Explore best practice efforts in other communities to address housing barriers resulting from property owners’ credit and criminal background check practices or unlawful screenings (i.e. on the basis of disability such as a history of mental illness).

  • Expand rental assistance in Miami-Dade County, including emergency rental assistance, deposit assistance and long-term rental assistance for special need populations on fixed income and for ELI and VLI families who are not participating in HUD-funded housing programs, to reduce housing burden on these households and promote further mainstream integration.

  • Allocate more funds for emergency assistance (i.e. eviction prevention, deposits) and increase the amount of emergency assistance provided as current amount.

  • Expand legal assistance to renters in private rental housing.

  • Conduct efforts to educate community on positive housing development models that integrate mixed income households with community and commercial uses that benefit neighborhoods in effort to overcome NIMBY issues that often cause barriers to creation of affordable housing and special needs.

  • Evaluate the manner in which community councils may be posing barriers to affordable housing development and identify solutions.

Preserve Existing Affordable Housing

  • Ensure coordinated compliance monitoring among multiple funders to ensure that units developed with government funds are being properly occupied and that such units meet HQS and local code.

  • Identify funding resources to assist owners in rehabilitating project-based buildings under expiring contracts.

  • Advocate for tax relief for owners willing to maintain affordable rental properties.

  • Preserve land available for development of housing affordable for ELI and VLI households through community land trusts, land banking and mandatory inclusionary zoning.

  • Identify resources to encourage owners of existing housing affordable to ELI and VLI, which are not suitable for rehabilitation (typically smaller, older multi-family complexes), to re-develop, through new construction, affordable housing on the existing sites.

  • Replacement of existing affordable housing must include relocation of existing tenants to prevent homelessness.

  • Incorporate recommendations of the Florida Affordable Housing Study Commission on Preservation of Affordable Multi-Family Housing into a county-wide master plan for housing.

  • Explore options to prevent rent increases with only fifteen (15) days of advance notice for those renting under month-to month lease terms.

Encourage best practice standards and designs

  • Incentives must be given to developers to build mixed-income and mixed-use developments, which incorporate affordable, accessible units for extremely low, very low income and special need populations (i.e. deep capital subsidies, density bonuses, impact and other fee waivers, bonus points under competitive processes for funding and government land awards).

  • Incorporate “best practice” housing models in targeted areas to build mixed-used and mixed-income rental housing with the support of the government that maximizes density, involves the whole community in the process, and integrates families of various income levels and accessibility needs. to build deeply subsidized, low-cost mixed-income permanent rental housing in close proximity to transportation (Metrorail), employment, and/or day care facilities, community-based medical and social services. (See best practice examples in Attachment to these recommendations).

  • Encourage design features that create units and amenities attractive to workforce and higher-income families, while incorporating units affordable to extremely low, very low and low income households.

  • Require developers to incorporate Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) features.

  • Density under Miami-Dade County’s code should be compared to other municipalities and land use should be maximized with higher-density to allow financial feasibility of incorporating rental units affordable to ELI and VLI households and encourage housing development along transportation corridors.

  • Continue to promote Miami-Dade Transit Department’s efforts to partner with housing developers to build affordable rental housing on County-owned land to maximize cost effectiveness of the development and increase Metrorail ridership.

  • Build housing in southern Miami-Dade County near busways, provide incentives for workers to live south and extend Metrorail to Homestead.

Public Housing, Section 8 Housing Choice and Shelter Plus Care (S+C) Vouchers

  • Implement best practice revitalization practices for public housing with “ground-up” community planning. (See best practice examples in Attachment A to these recommendations, particularly the Bridgeton (NJ) and Randall Neighborhood (Richmond, VA) revitalization projects).

  • Establish an oversight advisory group including tenants, housing experts, and advocates to address improvements to the Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Administrative Plans with particular emphasis on setting a maximum monthly vacancy rate; number of accessible units; post-Adker Consent Decree waitlist procedures, including establishment of local preferences, particularly for persons with disability; landlord payments; inspection and lease-up processes under the HCV and S+C Programs.

  • Common spaces in public housing should be better maintained. The County should employ cleaning services so maintenance workers can focus on structural maintenance needed in both common areas and in individual apartments.

  • Improve security on public housing properties.

  • Provide equipped playground space on public housing premises.

  • Provide greater access to food products on-site for elderly (i.e. mini-mart on-site or vending machines).

  • Make public housing facility improvements that attract HUD-eligible families of higher income to promote compliance with HUD de-concentration of poverty regulations.

  • Rehabilitation and/or maintenance efforts should include CPTED features to make existing public housing properties safer for residents.

  • Regular reporting on the status of the County’s effort to comply with the Voluntary Compliance Agreement between the county (MDHA) and HUD to address various violations of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and ADA. The report should include action steps and target dates for compliance on each outstanding item remaining.

  • Applications for S+C Program funds should request the maximum amount of funds available utilizing a rent standard of 110% of Fair Market Rents.

  • An analysis of the current rent standard(s) applicable to HUD tenant-based rental assistance programs operated in Miami-Dade County should be conducted to determine whether to increase the rent standard as permitted by regulation or request HUD approval of an exception payment standard for the area, taking into consideration HUD’s revised allocation formula for the HCV Program.

Special Needs Housing

  • Promote “Housing First” models and integrate homeless families and individuals into permanent housing with supportive services off-site or on-site depending upon need of target population. More affordable rental housing stock is needed to implement these programs. The Homeless Trust has approximately $15 million in GOB funding, but at most this might produce about 600-900 units of permanent housing. Homeless prevention efforts also are dependent upon increased availability of extremely affordable housing units and/or rental assistance.

  • The Miami-Dade Homeless Trust Plan to End Homelessness should be promoted and integrated into a county-wide Housing Plan. Discharge policies also should be incorporated as homeless prevention measures.

  • Increase availability of supportive housing for persons with chronic mental illness to reduce burden on the County Jail system.

  • Establish memorandums of agreement establishing discharge policies designed to prevent homelessness among Florida Department of Corrections, Miami-Dade County Jails, 11th Judicial Circuit, Public Health Trust, Florida Department of Children and Families, mental health facilities.

  • Support legislation to expand use of State OSS payment to be used in community based housing, not only institutional settings.

  • Increase the amount of assistance available under the “General Assistance” rent program for persons pending SSI, a program that is partially funded by retroactive payments made by the recipient.

  • Need to target assistance for children transitioning out of foster case and into independent living at age 18 when State is cutting off assistance

  • In general, rental assistance programs must prioritize special need populations, including persons living with AIDS.

  • Increase accessibility to persons with disabilities by establishing a pool of funds to assist the tenant in making reasonable modification to their private rental market unit or house.

  • Supportive services funding must directed towards assisting special needs populations in a manner which allows them to live in the least restrictive community setting, supporting their long-term housing stability (i.e. residing in rental housing with the support of a housing stability specialist and off-site community-based services).

  • Barriers to development of affordable, accessible housing posed by local zoning codes must be addressed in recognition of the Olmstead decision to allow persons to live in the least-restrictive community setting with support services as needed (e.g. on-site case management or housing specialists should not trigger institutional use zoning).

Continued Need for Oversight Through CAHSA

  • Extend existence of the CAHSA for an additional twenty-four months to continue its advisory role related to strategies to address the housing crisis in Miami-Dade County and expand its role to provide oversight of County staff’s efforts to implement CAHSA recommendations and other housing related strategies and activities, with quarterly status reporting to CAHSA and the Board of County Commissioners. Committee understands that extending the term of CAHSA beyond twelve months would require legislative action by ordinance.

ATTACHMENT A

Mixed-income housing—1/3 low-income, 1/3 moderate-income, 1/3 market-rate—can be an effective development approach when: a. inclusionary zoning requires it; b. there are limited public funds, which requires that surplus funds from market-rate units can create an additional subsidy for low-income units; c. income diversity is required for community acceptance.

* Crawford Square
*
Langham Court
*
Ninth Square
*
Randolph Neighborhood
*
Tent City
*
Timberlawn


Mixed-use developments include retail, commercial, or community spaces at the street level:

* Frank Mar Housing
*
Hismen Hin-Nu Terrace
*
Lorin Station
*
Melrose Court
*
Ninth Square
*
Roxbury Corners
*
Tent City
*
Villa Nueva
*
YWCA Family Village
*
555 Ellis Street
*
201 Turk/111 Jones

Affordable housing in affluent communities has become a solution when there is: a. strong inclusionary zoning or fair-share policies required by the jurisdiction; b. a recognition that the local workforce, which serves the affluent, is part of the community and needs reasonably priced housing.

* Battle Road Farm
*
La'ilani Homes
*
West HELP
*
West Hopkins Townhomes

Families, seniors, and/or singles are sometimes combined in developments when the size of the development, the funding, and the demand allows.

* Cascade Court
*
Frank Mar Housing
*
Oak Terrace
*
La Ramona Morales
*
Spring Creek Gardens
*
Tuscany Villas/Villa Calabria
*
Viviendas Assistenciales
*
555 Ellis Street
*
111 Jones/201 Turk
*
West Town Cluster


Infill housing fills vacant lots and repairs the torn fabric of the streetscape.

* Capen Green
*
Cascade Court
*
Cephas Housing
*
Charleston Scattered
*
Columbia/Hampshire Street Housing
*
Dorado Village
*
Del Carlo Court
*
Field Street
*
Fineview Crest
*
Frank Mar Housing
*
Harriet Square
*
Hismen Hin-Nu Terrace
*
Holladay Avenue Homes
*
Horizons
*
Hyde Square Coop
*
International Homes
*
Lorin Station
*
Langham Court
*
Lucretia/Julien
*
Matsusaka Townhomes
*
Melrose Court
*
Oak Terrace
*
Paula Avenue Homes
*
Parkside Gables
*
Parkview Commons
*
Quincy Homes
*
The Reservoir
*
Roxbury Corners
*
Sojourner Truth Homes
*
Tent City
*
Tower Apartments
*
University City Townhomes
*
Waterside Green
*
West Hopkins
*
West Town Cluster
*
West Town II
*
555 Ellis Street
*
201 Turk/111 Jones

Mutual housing associations and coops provide: a. resident equity their homes; b. a larger resident responsibility in management; c. access to subsidies not available for homeownership; d. greater community acceptance than rental housing.

* Hyde Square Coop
*
Langham Court
*
MHANY
*
Ocean Park Coop
*
Parkside Gables
*
Roxbury Corners
*
Tent City

New district development utilizes larger scale planning and urban design, and can help revitalize a large area.

* Crawford Square
*
Crotona Park West
*
MHANY Scattered Site
*
Ninth Square
*
Oak Hill/Orchard Village
*
Randolph Neighborhood
*
Westminster Place

Partnerships between non-profit and for-profit developers and between grass-roots sponsors and experienced non-profits can be an effective approach when: a. the larger developer brings experience and financing capability; b. the smaller developer brings access to public funds, community values, and political acceptance; c. a combination of market-rate and subsidized housing is desired.

* Dorado Village
*
Columbia/Hampshire Street Housing
*
Frank Mar Housing
*
Hismen Hin-Nu Terrace
*
Lyton Park Place
*
Parkview Commons
*
St.John's Replacement Housing
*
Villa Esperanza
*
Waterside Green
*
YWCA Villa Nueva
*
201 Turk Street









Langham Court, Boston, Massachusetts

RESIDENT PROFILE:
Mixed-income, families and singles with incomes ranging from very low to median (market-rate); 1/3 @ less than 50% of AMI, 1/3 @ 50-80% of AMI, 1/3 @ market ; (AMI for family of four $53,100).

DEVELOPMENT TYPE:
New construction mixed income rental; elevator midrise and stacked townhouses.

DENSITY: 81.5 du/acre

OWNER/DEVELOPER
Four Corners Development Corporation

ARCHITECT
Goody Clancy and Associates

CONTRACTOR
Dimeo Construction Co.

FUNDERS:

TYPE:

MA Housing Finance Agency

Loan

City of Boston:linkage

Grant

Commonwealth of MA

Deffered loan

Langham Court Cooperative Corp.

Loan

DEVELOPMENT PROFILE

Type

#/Units

Size (sf)

Rents

Studios

15

300

$422-$503

1 BR

29

630

$492-$803

2 BR

26

840

$595-$1,029

3 BR

14

1,150

$752-$887

Total

84

 

 

Courtyard/play: 8,800 sf
Parking: 54 23,060sf underground,
Community/retail: 1,253sf community
Site Area: 1.03 acres or 45,000 sf

CONSTRUCTION TYPE
4 - 5 stories, steel frame , brick veneer on concrete podium

DEVELOPMENT COSTS:
Land costs: city owned land- donated; Construction costs: $11,098,555 ($99.18/sf.); Other Costs: $3,673,955; Total development costs: $14,772,500 ($132.01/sf). Completed 9/91

Langham Court is a unique mixed-income residential community located in the heart of Boston's South End National Historic District. The development provides truly mixed-income housing in the format of a limited equity cooperative. One third of its units are heavily subsidized low-income family homes; one third partly subsidized; and one third market rate. Originally, the housing was to be a mix of ownership (condos) and rental, but market forces caused the financing to shift to the limited equity coop. According to Mary Manuel, resident property manager, the coop is a good concept, because people have a stake in their property, giving them an incentive to maintain it. better. People are encouraged to participate in events and get to know their neighbors.

The design strives to interpret the best features of the site's historic context within the limitations of economical building materials, methods and systems. The overall design emulates the massing and consistent street wall setback-stoop-entrance relationships to the surrounding neighborhood. Dormers, bays ; arched and vaulted entries; a combination of mansard and flat roofs; stringer courses and textured brickwork, and a palette of well chosen materials provide an unusual richness. One resident mentioned that the building feels as if it has always been there.

The parking is in one level underground, and has space for one car per unit. Some residents don't own cars due to the proximity of good mass transit, and extra spaces are rented out to the community. Security in the garage has not been a big problem, except occasionally when the card reader system fails and people are able to enter the garage and vandalize cars. Sometimes strangers come into the main lobby behind residents, and Mary Manuel suggests that a camera at the entry lobby hooked up to the cable TV system would give residents more security when buzzing people in, by allowing them to see strangers and call the manager.

The 84 units are distributed in both four story townhouses and a five story elevator-served apartment building. Interestingly, there are two separate elevator cores, one originally for the rental units, and one for the condos. When the tenure shift occurred, it was too late to change the design. However, the architect John Clancy feels that this did not cost any more than a single elevator core, yet proves more convenient for people living at each end of the building. Apartments range in size from studio flats to three bedroom two story townhouses. While some of the apartments , especially the studios, are on the small side, they feel spacious to people who have lived previously in small flats or shelters. The townhouses, reserved for families with children, have direct front entries from the street and rear access to small private outdoor areas, and the common courtyard beyond. According to Mary Manuel, resident property manager, people use the backyards for sitting out on warm evenings, barbecue storage, growing roses and play areas for small children.

The south-facing courtyard provides a sunny landscaped retreat for all residents, including. During the community design process, many neighbors expressed the desire to have a public park on the street. The development team eventually convinced the community that the open park would end up attracting social problems and would be hard to maintain. The interior courtyard is visible from the street and is used by both Langham residents and the low income senior residents of the adjacent building Washington Manor. There are approximately 40 children of all age groups, and they are the main users of the courtyard. The courtyard is big enough, though as in many such courtyards, occasionally the lawn needs reseeding. The courtyard is U-shaped and well positioned for good observation from both the managers office and many of the apartments.

Langham Court exemplifies the success of mixed income housing, a model in which the housing for all income levels must aspire to high standards, for both success in marketing the market-rate units, and to minimize a sense of hierarchy within the development. As 10 year old Blanca Hernandez wrote in a winning essay sponsored by the National Council of State Housing Agencies, " I 'specially like living in Langham Court because where I used to live it was a bad neighborhood with drugs everywhere. Here, I really don't see drugs, and it's a good neighborhood, and I can play outside and sleep without worry."











ROXBURY CORNERS COOPERATIVE HOUSING, Boston, Massachusetts

RESIDENT PROFILE:
Families: 63% low-, 17% mod.-income, and 20% market-rate.

DEVELOPMENT TYPE:
New constr. and rehab. limited-equity for-sale flats and townhouses; retail/commercial space

DENSITY: 18 units per acre

SPONSOR
United South End/Lower Roxbury Dev. Corp. [UDC]

ARCHITECT
Domenech Hicks Krockmalnic

CONSULTANTS:
Landscape Architect:
Halvorson Company
Development Consultant: The Community Builders

CONTRACTOR
Peabody Construction

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
The Community Builders

FUNDERS:

TYPE:

Boston Redevelopment Authority

Loans/grants

City of Boston Neighborhood Hsg. Trust

Linkage loan

Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency

First mortgage

Hsg. Innovations Fund Prog. (HIF)

Loan

EOCD/ Retail Dev. Action Loan

Loan

Low Income Housing Tax Credits bought by NYNEX, Boston Bank of Commerce, State St. Bank and Trust Co.

Equity

DEVELOPMENT PROFILE

Type

#/Units

Size (sf)

Rents

Studio

2

368-410

$390

1 BR

5

562-650

$600

2 BR

25

860-1,070

$747-850

3 BR

19

1,126-1,425

$845-1,096

4 BR

3

1,490-1,615

$1,096

Total

54

 

 

Community: 850, includes office.
Parking: 19, surface
Retail: 5,000
Total site area: 36,224 (.83 acres)

CONSTRUCTION TYPE
Two buildings; four-story steel frame with brick and precast block and plank.

DEVELOPMENT COSTS:
Land cost: $350,000; Constr. costs: $7,020,832; Other costs: $2,020,773; Total development costs $11,602,227 ($190,200/unit); Completed May 1991.

Roxbury Corners stands on two parcels of land in the Lower Roxbury section of Boston's South End historic district. The westerly parcel has a new structure of four-and-a-half stories; two rehabilitated buildings and a new four-story addition stand on the other parcel. Surrounding buildings are multi-family, low-income housing projects in high- or low-rise blocks that date from the last 25 years and 19th century brick row houses with front stoops and mansard roofs. At 65 dwelling-units per acre, Roxbury Corners is less dense that many of the nearby buildings.

Roxbury Corners was part of the South End Housing Initiative, the goal of which was to develop good, multi-family, affordable housing with some form of homeownership within the context of an overheated real estate market that excluded many people with low incomes. Community groups participated extensively in a series of community meetings and voiced their concerns about architectural design, security, parking, and site planning. The United South End/Lower Roxbury Development Corporation (UDC) was created in 1979 to participate in a wide range of business and real estate development activities that create employment and housing opportunities for people with low and moderate incomes and people of color. Prior to the construction of Roxbury Corners, this section of Lower Roxbury was abandoned. Now, almost 6,000 square feet of commercial space is leased to businesses that provide goods and services previously unavailable in this part of the neighborhood.

According to Syvalia "Val" Hyman, III, President and CEO of UDC, Roxbury Corners has had a significant positive impact both physically and socially on the neighborhood. Mr. Hyman recommended that affordable housing should always be designed from the beginning, "with the highest quality products and amenities. It is virtually impossible to significantly upgrade already specified products and amenities in a development, even when funding is available."

The development had to undergo review by the Landmarks Commission in respect to set-backs, height, materials, and architectural detailing--all of which had a major effect on the design. Because so many agencies, as well as the non-profit developer and the development consultants, had the right to review the design, the process was quite lengthy. According to architect Fernando J. Domenech, "It was a great challenge to design buildings that met the desires and expectations of many groups with very different agendas. Also, affordable housing developers do not have a real project until their financing is in place, and then they must move quickly to obtain occupancy in time to meet their tax credit deadline. Given the complexity of this development, preparation of construction documents under those constraints was very difficult."

Daniel DeSantis, a neighbor, stated in a recent interview: "Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to mix with the residents of Roxbury Corners over crime issues in the neighborhood. Boston's South End is an ethnically and economically diverse community so the people at Roxbury Corners are not significantly different. Someone's income should not be a concern to neighbors. I think it is very important for affordable housing to blend in with the surrounding structures so that residents feel they live in a place as good as everyone else's. Roxbury Corners achieves this very successfully."









OAK TERRACE, Boston, Massachusetts

RESIDENT PROFILE:
Very-low-income families, incomes at 40% of AMI.1/3 low-, 1/3 moderate-income, 1/3 market-rate, families & seniors.

DEVELOPMENT TYPE:
New construction rental flats and townhouses; retail/commercial space.

DENSITY: 105 units per acre

OWNER/DEVELOPER

Asian Community Dev. Corp.

ARCHITECT
Lawrence K. Cheng Assoc. Inc.

CONSULTANTS:
Landscape Architect:
Williams Associates
Development Consultant: The Community Builders

CONTRACTORS
Beacon Construction Co.

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
The Community Builders

FUNDERS:

TYPE:

HUD (Section 8)

Rent subsidy

Low Income Hsg. Tax Credit
via Mass. Hsg. Investment Corp.

Equity

Mass Hsg. Finance Agency

Loan

Neighborhood Hsg. Trust

Grants/subsidies

Federal Home Loan Program

Grant

AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust

Loan

Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRDA)

Loan/land

DEVELOPMENT PROFILE

Type

#/Units

Size (sf)

Rents

1 BR

14

600

$481-756

2 BR

32

820

$577-975

3 BR

33

1,150

$667-1,175

4 BR

9

1,350

$744-1,375

Total

88

 

 

Community/laundry: Both
Courtyard: 6,000
Parking: 44, surface
Retail/commercial: 2,775
Total site area: 36,339 (.83 acres)

CONSTRUCTION TYPE
Steel frame on concrete caissons and grade beams, with exterior finishes of brick veneer and EIFS panel.

DEVELOPMENT COSTS:
Land cost: $1,500,000; Constr. costs: $9,672,620; Other costs: $3,687,823; Total development costs: $13,360,443 ($151,823/unit); Completed January 1995.

In 1987, the Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC) was awarded the development rights to half of a site with an abandoned building and parking lot. This was the result of a request for proposals from the city of Boston to build 300 units of affordable housing and community facilities, the first new affordable housing in Chinatown in over 20 years. Due to financing constraints, the unit count was reduced to 88 from 120, and the parking was located on an adjacent surface lot instead of underground. The new building makes a transition between a tall hospital on one side and three-story brick townhouses on the other.

The community needed large apartments because 80-90 per cent of the units in Chinatown have only one bedroom. Three- and four-bedroom townhouses surround a secure courtyard, which gives children a supervised play area and acknowledges the traditional Chinese courtyard house. One- and two-bedroom flats occupy the ten-story tower; two retail spaces are offices for dentists and physicians serving Chinatown. The exterior has panels of Exterior Insulated Finish System, and brick to match the older buildings. According to architect Lawrence K. Cheng, "The design and detailing responded to the complex finance and budgetary restraints without sacrificing the quality of the dwellings." Carol Lee, former executive director of ACDC remarked, "Oak Terrace brought out the best of creativity with very limited resources. Many in the community as well as the funders have been impressed by the quality of the design."


HISMEN HIN-NU TERRACE, Oakland, California

RESIDENT PROFILE:
Singles, couples & families with incomes $19,350 - $43,800 (family of 8) per year. Incomes between 50%-60% of AMI

DEVELOPMENT TYPE:
New Construction Mixed-use Rental housing; flats and townhouses over parking and retail/commercial

DENSITY: Flats: 85 units/acre; T'houses: 35 units /acre

SPONSORS
The East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation
San Antonio Community Development Council

ARCHITECT
Design Architect:
Pyatok Associates
Architect of Record:
The Ratcliff Architects

LANDSCAPE ARCH:
Chris Patillo Associates

CONTRACTOR
James E. Roberts/Ohbayashi Corp.

FUNDERS:

TYPE:

City of Oakland RDA

Const./Perm. Loan

Calif. Dept. of HCD

Const./Perm. Loan

Calif. Comm. Reinvest. Corp.

Const./Perm. Loan

Wells Fargo Bank

Const. Loan

Bank of the West/Bank of Calif.

Bridge Loan

FNMA & CASH, Inc.

Syndication

CDBG & Nat. Endowment for the Arts

Grants

Ford Found'n & James Irvine Found'n

Grants

DEVELOPMENT PROFILE

Type

#

Size (sf)

Rents

1 BR

17

585

$332-383

2 BR

35

800

$505

3 BR

30

1,050

$424-653

4 BR

10

1,250

$699

Total

92

 

 

Circ/Off.

3,292

 

 

Commerc:

11,224

 

 

Daycare:

2,000

 

 

Comm. Rm:

1,600

 

 

Parking:

35,638: Comm. 30, Resid. 89 spaces

CONSTRUCTION TYPE
2-4 story stucco and cement-fiber siding over wood frame over concrete podium - post-tensioned slab

DEVELOPMENT COSTS:
Land costs: $1,001,988; Constr. costs: $10.47 m.; Other costs: $3.83 m. Total dev. cost: $15.3 m. ($166,304/unit); Housing constr.: $9.57 m.- $85/sf;. Commercial/Daycare/Community constr.: $900,000 - $64/sf ; (completed Feb. 1995)

Hismen Hin-Nu Terrace is the culmination of years of effort by community groups, non-profit developers, individuals, and the City of Oakland, California. In 1989, the design architect for this project identified an abandoned supermarket site at 25th Avenue as one of a number of underutilized or vacant sites along East 14th Street in the racially diverse neighborhoods of East Oakland. This project produced 92 town homes and apartments, for families and seniors with low and very low incomes, mend a deteriorating neighborhood by restoring its main boulevard with housing over shops. Family housing with a childcare center around quiet courtyards is built behind a ground-floor market, niches for street vendors, and a community center with job training, all of which contribute to economic development in the neighborhood. A multi-ethnic mix of tenants is depicted in exterior murals, frieze panels, decorative tiles, and steel entry gates in the form of a bust of sunshine.

In addition to Hismen Hin-nu Terrace’s family housing with a childcare center, a market-hall for 50 small vendors, niches for street vendors located along the building's front facing the main boulevard, and a community center with job training contribute to the economic development of the neighborhood. The family housing is divided into three courtyards, with the central ground level court serving the community center and childcare program, and the other two courts located above the parking garages serving the larger family units. The smaller units are in the elevator served building facing the main street.

The multi-ethnic mix of tenants is depicted in exterior murals, decorative tiles, and steel entry gates incorporating a burst of sunrays. In the language of the local Native American Ohlones, Hismen Hin-nu means "Sungate."

Support household and neighborhood fit:

Hismen Hin-Nu Terrace is located on the major east-west boulevard of Oakland near the elevated tracks of BART which serves commuters to and from San Francisco. The context is diverse in character, including underutilized lots (parking and one-story retail); two to three story street front retail, bars, and churches, with housing above; and, to the south, a suburban, auto-oriented pattern of single story buildings surrounded by parking. To mend the deteriorating neighborhood, the architect and sponsors sought to restore the traditional 'street wall' with housing above shops along the main boulevard. The architecture of the development, an interpretation of the Mission Revival Style, recalls the graceful residential apartment buildings in the neighborhood.

The architect held participatory workshops with participants from the neighborhood to gather their input on plans for the site and to acquaint them with the implications of the density of the project. In response to the expressed preferences, all family dwellings are townhouses organized around courtyards to foster neighborliness and for security. Smaller units are arranged in flats in a four story elevator building facing the boulevard. The central courtyard is on grade to allow large trees to grow, and has some lawn for recreation. The other courtyards are on the decks above the parking podiums, which also are scaled down into smaller courts for intimacy. The side courts are landscaped with low planters in front of the apartments for privacy, and larger tree planters with benches in the corners and ends to help define the space. To maximize sunlight penetration during the day, the housing on the south side of the site is 1-2 stories high at the center court, and open at the side courts. The 3-4 story massing on the main street breaks down to 2-3 stories on the narrower side streets.

The site originally was occupied by a supermarket and its parking. Suburban development and declining neighborhood incomes caused the market to close. A consortium of small vendors operated a flea market in the existing building. The vendors also participated in the design workshops, which resulted in the design of a double-height market hall for them to continue their businesses. As a result, the developer was able to pre-lease the market, thereby reducing the risk of empty retail space in a transitional neighborhood. The retail has its own parking garage entered from the side streets, with direct access to the stores from the garage.

In order to assist the entrepreneurial potential of the low-income families and new immigrants to the area, the architect also incorporated street-side niches for very small vendors between the columns of the exterior street wall. During the day small vendors can sell their wares under multi-colored awnings, and at night the tiled walls and pavement can be hosed down. Not only does this design strategy contribute to local economic development, but also it helps to 'activate' the street with people, contributing to a livelier, more attractive, and safer environment.

The multi-ethnic identity of the tenants is represented through public artworks including exterior murals, decorative tiles, and steel entry gates incorporating a burst of sunrays. In the language of the local Native American Ohlones, Hismen Hin-nu means "Sungate." (See “Meet high aesthetic standards” for additional information.)

Meet high aesthetic standards:

As the new building will be a prominent landmark for hundreds of thousands of people each day, (buses, autos, and BART commuters), the architects convinced the sponsors to enhance this symbol of racial diversity and unity with artistic contributions from different ethnic groups. On a pro bono basis, the design architect applied to the National Endowment for the Arts and the project was awarded $50,000 for public artworks. The coexistence of art from these diverse traditions is intended to inspire a spirit of cooperation not only among the tenants; but, since the building will be the retail and community center of the larger neighborhood of 75,000 people, it seeks to transmit that spirit of mutual understanding to a much wider audience.

Four artists, Horace Washington, Mia Kodani, Daniel Galvez, and Reynaldo Terrazas interpreted their respective traditions in exterior decorative art integral to the building facade (i.e. frieze, exterior murals, decorative tiles, and steel entry gates). In addition, the artists researched and documented the cultural meaning and origins of their work in a graphic display to be compiled in an educational exhibition permanently installed in the main entry lobby. The artworks and the educational exhibit are intended to demonstrate that America's cultural diversity is not a source of conflict but a source of energy for creating community.

The safety of residents was a major consideration in the design process. As Joshua Simon, project manager for the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, remarked, "The artwork and degree of community surveillance created by the porches and the windows of the street will have a big impact on safety and pride of building."

Plaza Apartments- San Francisco, CA        Green Features

RESIDENT PROFILE:
Residents are predominantly formerly chronically homeless and disabled residents who average 12 -20% of Area Median Income based on fixed income sources such as SSI and General Assistance

DEVELOPMENT TYPE:
New construction providing 106 mini-studio apartments, retail space, including space for a credit union and a new black-box theater

DENSITY: 549 units per acre

OWNER/DEVELOPER
Public Initiatives Development Corporation

ARCHITECT
Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects & Paulett Taggart Architects in Association

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
GLS Landscape / Architecture

CONTRACTORS
Nibbi Brothers General Contractors

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
John Stewart Company

FUNDERS:

TYPE:

San Francisco Redevelopment Agency

Tax Increment Loan Funds & Ground Lease

Enterprise Community Partnership

Tax Credit Equity Syndication

California Dept. of Housing & Community Development

Multi-Family Housing Project

FNMA

Tax Credit Equity Investor

Enterprise Green Communities

Green and Sustainable Grant

DEVELOPMENT PROFILE

Type

#/Units

Size (sf)

Rent

Studio

106

300

$225 - $645

Total

106


 

Community facilities: Community Room, kitchen, courtyard, laundry support services, and health (mental and medical) services
Parking: None
Total site area: 8,400 sf

CONSTRUCTION TYPE
Nine storey Type II - F.R. concrete structure with metal framing.

DEVELOPMENT COSTS:
Land cost: NA (ground release); Constr. costs: $16,900,000; Other costs: $5,800,000;Total development costs: $22,700,000; Completed in January 2006.

The Plaza Apartments are in San Francisco’s South of Market Earthquake Recovery Project Area, where goals were set to replace the housing units lost as a result of the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. The Plaza Apartments play a key role in meeting these goals by providing 106 mini-studio apartments to San Francisco’s lowest income residents. The project also improves the community with active retail on its ground floor.

The Plaza sits on the corner of a gritty urban site facing two streets that have a slightly different character. On Howard Street there is a residential feel, where the project’s 20-foot wide landscaped courtyard faces. The project’s retail spaces face Sixth Street and wrap the corner, fitting in with the character of the busier street. The Plaza’s cube-like mass (85 x 80 x 85 feet) is subdivided into a series of components that allow for the building’s scale to respond to and fit in with the surrounding context, while being different enough to signal a new era in the neglected neighborhood. The building’s articulated fa�ade is a system of windows and colorful wood-resin panels within an architecturally unifying concrete grid. The checkered pattern provides individual expression of the apartments and reduces the building scale.

The Plaza Apartments are oriented and designed such that natural light and air are provided for all the residential units and most public and support spaces. The floor plan is arranged in a “pin-wheel” form such that each corridor terminates with a full height window providing natural ventilation, light and views. Overhangs, setbacks, and high-performance windows were used to minimize heat gain. Additionally, windows are flush to the exterior on the cooler Southeast side while they are recessed on the warmer Southwest side of the building. The rainscreen wood-resin panels have a core of recycled craft paper and are set over rigid insulation to increases energy efficiency and thermal comfort. The project was designed to exceed California’s strict Title 24 Energy Requirements by 18 percent. Energy efficient light fixtures and Energy Star rated appliances were specified in the residential units and public spaces. Heating is provided with a high efficiency boiler and hydronic heaters. Renewable energy is provided on site with a rooftop 26kW photovoltaic system that is anticipated to provide about 10-15% of the project’s common electric loads. A monitoring system is in place to constantly evaluate the system’s energy production. All these measures help to reduce utility costs and allow for greater supportive service funding and lower rents.

In order to improve the site’s storm water management, the courtyard was designed to directly filter rainwater to soil below, helping minimize the project’s impact on the City’s storm water system. Inside the units, low flow shower heads are used throughout.

Much of the building’s hidden and visible materials are made with recycled content or are recyclable, including the steel, rigid insulation, carpet tiles, and rubber flooring. A balance was sought among sustainable, recycled-content, regional, durable, low-maintenance and easily replaceable, recyclable materials. Inside the units, linoleum flooring is used in kitchens, and kitchen cabinets are a low maintenance laminate applied over formaldehyde free wheatboard panels. In common spaces slate flooring was installed at heavy traffic areas in the reception and elevator lobbies.

During demolition as well as construction, a waste management contractor was enlisted and more than 97% of the demolition debris was diverted from the landfill. For continued recycling each floor’s trash room has a recycling area. In addition, the exterior courtyard has a recycling can.

 To help ensure good indoor air quality, all paints, adhesives, and sealants are low or no VOC. The ventilation system provides a constant supply of outside air to the apartments and common spaces. Green housekeeping guidelines have been put together to assist the property management company as well as residents in keeping their cleaning procedures healthy. Daylight and views from the generous amount of windows further enhance the indoor environment.

As part of the requirements for LEED certification the project has enlisted a commissioning agent who will document that equipment is installed per manufacturer’s recommendations. Additionally, the agent will document that systems are functioning as intended through performance testing and monitoring. And finally, a contract is in place such that the commissioning agent will return in 10 months to verify that the systems are still performing as intended by the design.

Other unique strategies at the Plaza Apartments include using a “green lease” for the future tenants in the retail spaces and the posting of the project on VirtuallyGreen.com, a web site which informs the public of the design via virtual tours.



Bridgeton Revitalization - Bridgeton, NJ            Green Features

RESIDENT PROFILE:
Low and moderate income. Bridgeton Revitalization replaces the existing public housing and adds additional units.

DEVELOPMENT TYPE:
Duplex and single family housing on scattered infill blocks; community center

DENSITY: 11 units per acre

OWNER
The Housing Authority of the City of Bridgeton

DEVELOPER/BUILDER
Ingerman Construction Company

ARCHITECT
Torti Gallas & Partners

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
Scangarello and Associates


CONTRACTOR
Ingerman Construction Company

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
The Ingerman Management Company

FUNDERS:

TYPE:

New Jersey HMFA

LIHTC

New Jersey Dep. of Community Affairs

Balanced Housing

City of Bridgeton

Urban Enterprise Zone Grant

Bridgeton Empowerment Zone

Empowerment Zone Grant

Federal Home Loan Bank of New York

FHLB Grant

HUD

HOPE VI Grant


DEVELOPMENT PROFILE

Type

#/Units

Size (sf)

Rent

1 BR

4

735

$660 - $754

2 BR

60

1121

$372 - $589

3 BR

41

1297

$394 - $675

4 BR

22

1521

$395 - $736

Total

300

 

 

Laundry: laundry closet and hook up in each unit, machines no provided.
Courtyard/play: Front and rear yards, community parks.
Parking: 1 off street space per unit
Total site area: Approximately 10 acres

CONSTRUCTION TYPE
Panelized wood construction and truss roofs.

DEVELOPMENT COSTS:
Land cost: $0; Constr. costs: $15,500,000; Other costs: $5,000,,000; Total development costs: $20,500,000 ($68,333/unit); Completed 2005.

Bridgeton, New Jersey has the largest Historic District in the state, boasting a generous stock of handsome Victorian and Craftsman style homes. Bridgeton also suffers from the sustained economic depression of a northeastern town whose industrial economic base has withered. As such, many of its historic homes are in poor condition. The city’s public housing units are particularly run down and obsolete by contemporary standards. Further, Bridgeton has not had significant new housing built in decades. The Bridgeton Revitalization project has turned that tide by creating attractive, functional new housing that accommodates a wide range of family types and income levels. Bridgeton Revitalization replaces the existing public housing and adds additional units. The 2, 3, and 4 bedroom homes have modern kitchens and bathrooms, generous bedrooms, and open living spaces. A number of the units are specially designed for residents with physical disabilities by providing both accessible and visitable units. Public transportation via bus is within walking distance of the project.

The siting of Bridgeton’s existing public housing disrupted the area’s urban and architectural fabric by separating the city from the Cohansey River with heavy handed brick buildings. Bridgeton Revitalization strives to mend the fabric by replacing these buildings with new houses scattered among infill blocks and lots in the town’s Historic District. These new homes respect the massing, detailing, and colors of their context while reflecting contemporary needs--bigger houses, more open living areas, and more parking—rendered with modern materials and methods. Reuse of a handful of efficient floor plans is disguised by a wide variety of elevation types, details, and color schemes. These new units allowed the existing public housing to be razed and its riverside site restored as parkland.

Some of the project’s redeveloped blocks were formerly commercial or brownfield sites requiring environmental remediation. One such site had an industrial warehouse on the riverbank. This was redeveloped with homes and now reconnects the neighborhood to the river. In knitting the new project into the city fabric, improvements were made to existing roads, utilities, and sidewalks, providing greater community interconnectivity. A new community center and park serve as neighborhood resources and elegantly resolve an awkward intersection of two street grids.

As part of the project’s integrated design process, the blocks, houses, and community center were designed with the active input of residents, neighbors and Housing Authority staff, through a series of public meetings. Stakeholders were brought into the process early to coordinate new utilities, street improvements, and phasing in a historic urban context. The development team coordinated the input and oversight of a multitude of elected officials and local, state, and federal funding sources. The mechanical/electrical/plumbing engineer, builder, and architect collaborated on the most effective ways to incorporate sustainable materials and systems into the project.

Achieving goals for accessibility, visitability, and drainage required the active coordination of the Civil Engineer and the Architect to fine-tune the grading and construction details. The accessible units also created an aesthetic challenge for the architects. As is typical of the style, the Victorian homes in Bridgeton accentuate their verticality and are raised up from grade at least one-half level. This was not a workable solution for the at-grade entry required for the accessible units. As a result, instead creating inelegant, squat Victorians, the accessible units were designed in a contextual Craftsman style, which lends itself to a more horizontal look.

As stipulated by public and private funding sources, the project has been constructed of "maintenance-free" materials. Additionally, as affordable family housing with a large rental component, it has to stand up to heavy use. As such, common production housing details, such as vinyl siding and columns of aluminum extrusion were avoided, in favor of more durable materials including cement board siding and trim, solid PVC columns and standing seam metal roofing on the porches.

Building envelope durability and indoor air quality was addressed by including proper detailing for waterproofing and air tightness in the construction documents. These details were adapted from the Energy Efficient Builders Association (EEBA) Builder’s Guide for Cold Climates and were shown as three dimensional drawings, making it that much easier for people in the field to understand and follow. To maintain a high level of quality, and minimize construction waste, the homes were built using open wall panels fabricated off site. Within the homes a healthy indoor environment was created using low VOC paints, adhesives, and sealants as well as Greenseal carpets and linoleum. To manage stormwater runoff, building footprints, alleys and parking pads were kept as compact as possible. Within the units water efficient showerheads and faucets, as well as high efficiency water heaters were installed.

By implementing an architectural language consistent with the existing Victorian fabric, the houses took full advantage of inherent passive design strategies. Deep eaves and front porches protect openings from rain and direct summer sun. Large vertical windows and an open living space allow daylighting to filter through the house. All windows are operable, and transom vents allow air to ventilate the whole house. Beyond passive strategies, as part of a commitment to the New Jersey Balanced Housing program, every house in the project, as well as the community center, are Energy Star Certified. Energy efficient features include: panelized wall construction (for improved air tightness), appropriate insulation levels, double glazed, low-e argon filled windows, extensive air sealing, energy efficient heating and cooling systems and Energy Star appliances.











RANDOLPH NEIGHBORHOOD, Richmond, Virginia

RESIDENT PROFILE:
Very-low-, low-, and moderate-income seniors and families.

DEVELOPMENT TYPE:
New construction and rehab., rental and for-sale flats and townhouses.

DENSITY: 20 units per acre (ave.)

OWNER/DEVELOPER
Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA)

ARCHITECT
UDA Architects

CONTRACTOR
Richmond Homes
Various other local firms

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT
RRHA

FUNDERS:

TYPE:

HUD Section 8, and Mod. Rehab

Grant/rent subsidy

HUD Section 202

Grant

HUD - Public Housing

Grant

CDBG/CIP - Urban Homeownership Opp'ty

Loan

Virginia Housing Development Authority

Loan

Virginia Housing PF

Loan

Various banks

Loans

DEVELOPMENT PROFILE

Type

#/Units

Size (sf)

Rents

Senior

1 BR

125

550

30% of income

Section 8/Public Housing

1-5 BR

143

550-1,300

30% of income

Single Family (new and rehab.)

2-4 BR

742

1,000-1,936

$27,500 -108,000

Total

1,010

 

 

Courtyard/play: 3 public parks with multiple rec. areas, tot-lots
Parking: Garages, surface, carports
Total Site Area: 100 acres

CONSTRUCTION TYPE
One- and two-story single-family detached
Two- and three-story apartment buildings

DEVELOPMENT COSTS:
New SF: $23.8 m.; Rehab. SF: $6.9 m.; Senior Hsg: $4.6 m.; Low-income family hsg: $6.4 m.; Total costs: $41.8 m. ($41,455/unit); in final phase.











Richmond's Randolph neighborhood experienced many of the problems of urban poverty and disinvestment typical of US cities in the 1960s. In the early 1970s large areas of it were razed and designated for redevelopment. For years local citizen activists worked with the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) to plan how to rebuild the neighborhood. From the beginning, said resident Betsy Jones, "I participated, along with a whole lot of other people, in urging the city to renew this area. We were involved in all phases of the planning from street plans to parking plans to density. Now we have a healthy, vibrant community that is still developing -- I'm proud of what we accomplished. However, we lost a lot of older residents through the original renewal efforts and that was very painful."

In order to accommodate community concerns that the neighborhood would not become gentrified, the first Randolph Redevelopment and Conservation Plan called for a significant amount of well designed housing for households with low incomes. However, once HUD reviewed the plan they decided that it would concentrate too many people with minimal resources in one area. The RRHA was forced to re-evaluate the plan. Although the RRHA had begun to successfully rehabilitate older houses at the edge of the neighborhood, there was debate about the type of new housing to be built. In 1981 some new public housing and Section 8 subsidized rental units were built with HUD funds, and in the mid-1980s momentum began to grow for private housing.

In response to HUD, the RRHA developed a second plan with the goal of creating a mixed-income community. "Build a neighborhood, not a project," was its motto. UDA Architects was brought in and, working with the community, they began to develop a plan based on traditional design concepts. According to architect Ray Gindroz, "The many community meetings on front porches emphasized their importance and the pride that residents took in the brick facades of the houses. We designed a range of housing types that would fit seamlessly with the adjacent blocks of 1920s red brick houses with white-painted porches, mimicking the block size and the design of alleys of the adjacent neighborhood." A pattern book of houses was designed with townhouses and duplexes, each with a front and back yard and parking off a rear alley. The zoning was changed to conform to traditional patterns; this was a benefit of the designation of the district as a redevelopment area.

The community process was challenging because, according to Bob Everton of the RRHA, "At first the community was not in favor of the new plan. They reminded the RRHA that they did not want to change the socio-economic characteristics of the neighborhood, and they felt that the "urban-style" of the units would be better received by persons other than the African-American community. Only after many community meetings and public hearings was the urban-style concept approved."

Marketing the denser homes was hard at first, partly because it was difficult to see the neighborhood as a complete development. Gindroz remarked, "The plan called for public improvements to be done in advance of the housing. Unfortunately, the new streetscapes were put in after the model homes were built, which set the sales pace back." The neighborhood also had to compete with new suburban tracts at the edge of town, so the attached units were not as attractive to prospective buyers. Eventually, the team modified the design so that the townhouses were three feet apart and raised slightly above grade to give buyers a sense of their own home. The RRHA worked closely with local developers and contractors to ensure that the homes would sell and that the program would continue. Council member Henry Richardson, who sponsored and supported the program from the beginning, remarked, "Randolph shows how successful we can be if government agencies actually respond to citizen participation."

The Randolph development was envisioned as an extension of the existing neighborhood. The city of Richmond built three public parks as part of the development. One of them has a swimming pool, a large playing field, jogging track, tennis and basketball courts, and play areas for small children. The other two parks are smaller, but are carefully tended by residents. As Gindroz pointed out, "The best way to build this type of neighborhood is to design a group of houses around a park. When competing with suburban forms that have more land per unit, it is important that the advantage of urban life -- a sense of community -- can actually be experienced."

The area is exceptionally safe for one that includes a significant amount of public housing and other subsidized rental programs. However, the subsidized housing is balanced by a large number of owner-occupied, single-family houses. Along with an urban form that allows for individual identity while encouraging a sense of community, this balance has produced an environment in which residents actively maintain their security through surveillance of the street and front porch socializing. Beverly Burton bought one side of a duplex in 1983 where she raised her two children while she worked as an attorney. She commented, "This neighborhood is an attempt to get people from different backgrounds to all live together. There are people here who work in maintenance at the local hospital. It is very convenient to schools, transportation and community resources. It's like a little neighborhood right in the heart of the city!"

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