By J. Shadé Quintanilla
More affordable housing in Pasadena is currently in the works. On Monday, William Huang, director of the Pasadena Housing and Career Services Department, updated city council about an affordable housing project known as the Heritage Square Senior Apartments. Developed by the non-profit developer BRIDGE Housing, the project will create an apartment complex with 70 new homes for low-income, independent-living seniors in Northwest Pasadena.
According to Housing Department’s progress report, 30 percent of the development is complete. Construction began earlier this year in March, and so far, recent work on the project has included rough grading, foundations, and framing of the first floor. In addition, the report noted that BRIDGE Housing has greatly exceeded the project’s minimum requirements for local hiring, local subcontracting, and local procurement. With a goal of 20 percent for all three requirements, the developer has actually doubled the amount of local hiring at 42 percent and almost tripled the percentage of local subcontracting at 58 percent. The report notes that local procurement is at 22 percent as of Sept. 11, but with the recent purchase of lumber from a Pasadena business, the Housing Department stated that the percentage is expected to increase.
City Council commended the housing department and BRIDGE Housing for all of their hard work on the development project.
“The Heritage Square Project has required a particular commitment from this city council to provide affordable housing for some of our neediest residents–seniors who are just one of the many kind of groups within our population that needs affordable housing,” stated Council Member Margaret McAustin, District 2.
Council Member John J. Kennedy, District 3, was particularly proud of the local benefits of the project.
“We as a council, I believe, are extremely proud that we are engaged in local hire, local subcontracting and local procurement at the numbers that were required,” he said. “But what’s really exciting is the actual numbers in most cases will close to double, if not double or more in terms of employment percentage basis.”
Council Member Tyrone A.L. Hampton, District 1, was also happy with the local benefits and asked the housing department to look into hiring more local architects, businesses and workers for future development projects.
Construction on the Heritage Square Senior Apartments is scheduled to be finished by the end of May 2016. The city-owned development site is bounded by Painter Street, Orange Grove Boulevard and Fair Oaks Avenue where the historic Decker House, Habitat for Humanity and Side Streets Project were previously located prior to construction. The Decker House has been moved to a temporary location, but will be later relocated permanently on Fair Oaks Avenue.
The apartments in the affordable housing complex will be made available to low-income seniors ages 55 and older whose income is up to 30 to 50 percent of area median income ($17,450 to $29,050 for a one-person household). Although the future residents of the building have yet to be determined, Council Member Kennedy has asked staff to later open a discussion about possibly giving priority to seniors from Districts 1, 2 and 3 to some of the units.
In addition to senior affordable housing, Pasadena also has other housing developments underway– the Mar Vista Union Project for formerly homeless families and the Desiderio Project for first-time home buyers.