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AMCAL Named 6th Top Affordable Housing Developer

Las Ventanas apartments playground area with children and adult

Affordable Housing Finance Magazine published its top 50 affordable housing developers list in May 2021, and AMCAL came in at #6 in the nation having 1,514 construction starts in 2020, and an anticipated 687 completions.

According to AHF, affordable housing developers were able to continue building, despite all the uncertainties and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. AMCAL was one of them. AHF also reported that while posting impressive numbers, developers faced extraordinary challenges during the pandemic, from delays in construction to increased deal scrutiny, from all-time high lumber prices to rent delinquencies across their portfolios. In addition, they were called on to meet the increasing needs of their residents.

AMCAL is proud to have been building affordable housing for more than 40 years, and is still going strong with an impressive pipeline of projects under construction and under development in 2022.

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AMCAL affordable housing expert participates on western U.S. regional panel

Photo of Darin Hansen

Our VP of Forward Planning and Entitlements, Darin Hansen, participated in a developer/owner panel addressing the state of affordable housing development in the western U.S. region hosted by Western Real Estate Business. The panel addressed questions surrounding: “What is the outlook for the affordable housing sector in the western states?”

You can access a recording of the panel discussion on the Western Real Estate Business website.

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Las Ventanas in Long Beach, CA, strives for LEED Platinum Certification

Artist's rendering of Las Ventanas

Las Ventanas Features Affordable Family Apartments, Close Proximity to the Blue Line, and is striving for LEED Platinum Certification

AMCAL Multi-Housing, Inc., a national leader in the development of affordable housing, is about to complete construction on Las Ventanas Apartments, an affordable mixed-use housing development near the Blue Line stop on Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach, California, that is striving to be certified as LEED Platinum.

Las Ventanas, located at 1795 Long Beach Blvd., features 102 apartments with 1, 2 and 3-bedrooms affordable to individuals and families earning between 20% to 80% of the area median income (AMI). LA County’s “Homes for Health” program has reserved apartments for 15 special needs homeless households.

Las Ventanas sits on a 1.01–acre site with a four-story building and includes street-level commercial space. The community’s transit-accessible location and infrastructure improvements provide residents access to public transportation, parks, markets, education institutions and retail, which are all located within short distances.

The community is striving for LEED Platinum certification. LEED for Homes is a national, voluntary, rating system administered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). USGBC is a non-profit that promotes the design and construction of high-performance green buildings and encourages the adoption of sustainable practices. LEED-certified homes are more durable, use less energy and water, and provide improved indoor air quality resulting in reduced utility bills and increased occupant comfort.

For a project to earn LEED for Homes certification, it must meet requirements in eight different environmental qualities: 1) Sustainable sites, 2) Water efficiency, 3) Energy and atmosphere, 4) Materials and resources, 5) Indoor environmental quality, 6) Locations and linkages, 7) Awareness and education, and 8) Innovation in design.

The Las Ventanas community exceeds California’s Energy Efficient Standards for Residential and Nonresidential Buildings which is enhanced by Solar Thermal for Domestic Hot Water, Solar PV and Energy Star lighting and Bathroom fans. Each kitchen is being furnished with a stove-oven and a garbage disposal. To help residents minimize expenses, AMCAL has installed ENERGY STAR® appliances including a refrigerator and a dishwasher. All apartments have a patio or balcony for private outdoor space, storage, and modern amenities for living.

To improve indoor air quality, AMCAL used interior paint with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Apartment interiors include modern vinyl Floor Score® planking and carpeting in bedrooms. AMCAL used the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label low-VOC carpet, pad and adhesive, which help to reduce VOCs and emissions, and contribute to the growing use of recycled content for building materials.

To reduce water usage, xeriscape landscaping with a managed irrigation system was planted, and low-flow water toilets, faucets and showerheads were installed.

For more information on LEED for Homes and USGBC, visit USGBC’s website.

Some of the green features unique to the community are:

  • 75% of construction waste diverted from landfills
  • 5% of total parking area dedicated to low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles
  • High-efficiency fixtures and ENERGY STAR® appliances
  • High-efficiency irrigation system
  • Low-VOC emitting paints and flooring
  • Low-flow interior water fixtures and toilets

“Las Ventanas’ high quality look and design will contribute to improving the neighborhood and provide much needed affordable family housing to the community,” said Percival Vaz, CEO of AMCAL. “We are excited to unveil Las Ventanas with its many environmentally sustainable features and look forward to its positive contribution to the Long Beach community.”

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AMCAL affordable housing expert participates on panel

Photo of Arjun Nagarkatti

AMCAL President, Arjun Nagarkatti, participated in a developer/owner panel addressing the question: “What is the Outlook for the Affordable Housing Sector in Texas?” hosted by Texas Real Estate Business. The panel (second hour of the webinar) explored expanding markets, affordable housing tax credit coalition and bond cap restraints, collections, reserve requirements and barriers to workforce and affordable housing.

A recording of the session was posted on the website of Real Estate Business Online. Visit that website to find a recording of the session.

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AMTEX Breaks Ground on Houston Development

Artist's rendering of Richcrest Apartments

AMTEX recently broke ground on Richcrest, an affordable housing development under construction in Houston.

Richcrest Apartments is a 288-unit affordable rental housing community containing a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units for individuals and families. The development will maintain designations for a variety of income levels, targeted to be affordable for families earning between 30% and 60% of the Area Median Income.

Richcrest Apartments will serve families and their needs by providing high-quality, affordable housing with modern amenities and on-site services. All units will offer contemporary living for residents. Amenities will include balconies/patios overlooking the shared outdoor space and modernized kitchens and bathrooms to provide the most comfortable living environment for families.

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AMCAL Ranks #15 on the List of the Top 50 Developers

Decorative image of top 50

AMCAL made the list of the top 50 developers of affordable housing as determined by Affordable Housing Finance (AHF) Magazine, keeping good company with other developers “who kept the shovels turning despite rising development costs and other challenges in 2019,” according to Donna Kimura, Deputy Editor of AHF Magazine. This is the second year in a row that AMCAL ranked #15.

This article originally appeared in Affordable Housing Finance Magazine. Visit that news site to read more.

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Las Ventanas Affordable Housing Sprouts at PCH Station

Las Ventanas construction view

Ten months after breaking ground in Midtown Long Beach, AMCAL Multi-Housing, Inc.’s Las Ventanas apartment complex is rising next to Metro’s PCH Station.

Located at the southwest corner of Long Beach Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway, the four-story building will feature 102 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments reserved for households earning between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income.  Additionally, plans call for 15 apartments to be set aside as permanent supportive housing. 

This article originally appeared in Urbanize LA. Visit that new site to read more.

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AMCAL Completes 69 New Affordable Apartments in Partnership with City of Santa Ana

First Street Apartments external building view

With $8.5 million in funding from the city of Santa Ana, AMCAL Multi-Housing, Inc. has completed the construction of First Street Apartments, a 69-unit high-quality affordable apartment community developed in partnership with the City of Santa Ana.

To make this project possible, the Santa Ana City Council approved a loan for $8.5 million in affordable housing funds. Combined with low-income housing tax credits, construction of the project was able to begin in April 2018 with the demolition of an older, deteriorating office building. The project was completed and the new tenants moved in by late last year.

First Street Apartments is part of a revitalization effort to develop residential uses along the First Street corridor — a key gateway for the City of Santa Ana. The development is located at 1440 E. First St., which is adjacent to a public school, a quarter mile from an OCTA bus stop, within a half mile of the Santa Ana Zoo and less than a mile from a Kaiser Permanente hospital.

“The lack of affordable housing is a growing crisis in Orange County and throughout California,” said Councilmember Vicente Sarmiento, who represents Ward 1 where the project is located. “By investing in development that supports the needs of working families, the City of Santa Ana is planning for a future in which everyone has a place to call home.”

The new apartment community was constructed on approximately 2.16 acres and has apartments ranging in size from 782 to 1,219 square feet, with two-, three- and four-bedroom units for larger families, which are rare and needed in Santa Ana. Rents range from $741 for a two-bedroom apartment to $1,984 for a four-bedroom apartment. Half of the units are reserved for extremely low-income households earning 30% of the Area Median Income.

“First Street Apartments will improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable members in our community while revitalizing a major corridor into the city,” Mayor Pro Tem Juan Villegas said.

Councilmember David Penaloza added: “First Street Apartments serves as a testament to Santa Ana’s commitment to provide quality affordable housing for local families.”

Residents in the project were chosen through a lottery process that had over 1,100 applications. The deadline to apply has passed and the building is fully occupied.

“Before living at First Street Apartments, I found myself struggling financially to pay rent,” said Diana Huaynate, 32, who has three sons. “I was living paycheck to paycheck, even sometimes that was not enough.”

Ms. Huaynate, who was born and raised in Sana Ana, said she’s seen the city’s rent prices skyrocket.

“I am happy and blessed to be a resident at First Street Apartments,” she said. “Not only is the rent manageable, but it offered me and my kids a space of our own; the property is so nice, it has its own park, laundry facilities, bike storage for my sons’ bikes, and they offer social services and lots more amenities that you wouldn’t have unless you paid a lot in rent.”

First Street Apartment is unique in that it will serve large families with contemporary living features that include balconies and patios, parking garages, and modern bathrooms and kitchens. The outdoor community features include an open courtyard with seating areas for residents, a barbeque area, a tot lot for children to play and a community garden.

The community consists of six residential buildings and a community laundry facility. Residents have access to a community room and a computer lab that provides space for educational and social services for residents. Social services include adult education and health services such as computer training, job training, English-as-a-second language classes, nutrition programs and parenting classes.

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AMCAL Gets Started on a Veterans Housing Project in Pomona

Artist's rendering of Veterans Park Apartments

January 7, 2020 Agoura Hills, CA — AMCAL Multi-Housing, Inc. announced today that it has closed financing and has started construction on Veterans Park Apartments — a high-quality affordable apartment community being developed in Pomona for veterans.

Veterans Park Apartments is an affordable multi-family apartment complex with modern amenities that will consist of 61 apartments ranging in size from 600 to 1,100 square feet located at 444 W. Commercial Street. Veterans Park will include 25 one-bedroom apartments with one bath, 15 two-bedroom apartments with two baths, and 20 three-bedroom apartments with two baths. One apartment will be reserved as an unrestricted manager’s unit.

Veterans Park Apartments was awarded $1.8 million in annual federal tax credits by the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee.

Rents will range from $545 a month for a one-bedroom apartment to $1,519 for a three-bedroom apartment, which are affordable for households earning between 30 and 60 percent of area median income. The community will welcome veterans with Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) issued from the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program.

Veterans Park is AMCAL’s third apartment community in Pomona. AMCAL previously completed two communities for seniors in Pomona — Serenity Villas in 2002 and Portofino in 2005.

This article originally appeared in the Inland Empire Business Journal. Visit that news site to read the article.