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Groundbreaking for The Whittier, RHF Affordable Housing Complex

By Chris Ragon

Elected Officials join Retirement Housing Foundation for Groundbreaking on Much Needed Affordable Housing Apartments in Boyle Heights


Nearly $24 million effort will include 60-units offering spacious apartments, play areas, community and learning centers & basketball and barbeque areas for children and families

L-R - Rev. Libby Tigner;Charmaine Atherton (VP of Community Development Banking-Bank of America);Anders Plett (VP of Acquisitions & Business Development-RHF); Dr. Laverne Joseph (President & CEO-RHF);Rev. Timothy Yee (Union Church of Los Angeles-UCC);U.S. Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard;L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar;Mr. Tim Elliot (Los Angeles Housing Department);Todd Norell (Zwick-Verticon Construction)

Los Angeles (August 9, 2012) – U.S. Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard and Los Angeles City Councilmember José Huizar joined the Retirement Housing Foundation (RHF),  Bank of America Community Development Banking and others Thursday afternoon for a groundbreaking on a 60-unit, nearly $24 million affordable housing apartment complex Thursday.

     The groundbreaking fo

r “The Whittier” apartment complex on Whittier Boulevard represents the Retirement Housing Foundation’s (RHF) third community project in the Boyle Heights area, with a planned fourth community (Las Alturas), for low-income seniors, beginning construction in 20

13. Las Alturas will be located next to The Whittier.

Dr. Laverne Joseph, President & CEO, RHF and Rev. Libby Tigner

 “I am very pleased to finally have this affordable family housing community under construction because there is a great demand for affordable housing for families and

seniors in Los Angeles,” said Dr. Laverne Joseph, President and CEO of RHF. “And the demand keeps growing!  We have three additional communities, which we hope to have under construction in the next year and a half.”

    Nearly 50 percent of the homes in Boyle Heights include children and the community has a reported family poverty level of nearly three times the state average. There is a critical need for safe, affordable housing in Boyle Heights and throughout the City of Los Angeles. The Whittier will target working families earning 30 to 60 percent of the area median income.

Whittier Apartment Groundbreaking


Bird's eye view of The Whittier (Architect, KTGY Group, Inc.)

“The fact that the median household income for our 34th Congressional District is approximately $36,000 a year makes the availability of low-income housing more important than ever before,” said U.S. Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard. “Affordable housing projects like the Whittier help make it possible for families to put healthier food on the table, as well as pay for medical needs and day care.”

     The supply of affordable housing units in the Los Angeles area does not accommodate the number of residents who could benefit from them. This is also true on a national level – not a single state’s affordable and available housing units meet the demand, and California’s need is among the highest. It is estimated that the state only has enough affordable and available housing to meet 21 percent of the state’s needs for the Extreme-Low Income demographic.

     “In today’s difficult economic times, it is critical that affordable projects such as The Whittier be built to alleviate the severe shortage of affordable housing,” said Councilmember José Huizar. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done to bring quality, affordable housing to our communities and The Whittier will be a great addition to these efforts. These will be beautiful apartments, with many amenities, making for a safe, comfortable and family-friendly environment, which will surely be a source of pride for all who will soon call this home.”

     Funding for the project is being provided by Bank of America Community Development Banking; the Los Angeles Housing Department (LAHD); the Angelus Trust; and the City’s Community Redevelopment Agency.

About Retirement Housing Foundation

     Since 1961 Retirement Housing Foundation (RHF), nonprofit organization, has preserved the dream of affordable housing for older adults, persons with disabilities, and low income families.  RHF also provides housing, assisted living, and skilled nursing care for older adults.  A modest beginning of $7,000 launched a bold undertaking that now includes 167 communities and spans 26 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  More than 18,000 people call an RHF community “home.”
About Bank of America Community Development Banking

     Bank of America recognizes the importance of financing affordable housing, which promotes strong economies.  Through its Community Development Banking business, the Bank offers innovative financial solutions to developers of high impact projects that revitalize communities.  In 2011, Bank of America provided more than $1.6 billion in loans and tax credit equity investments to help create more than 11,000 affordable housing units.

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