Abode Communities and affordable housing operator American Gold Star Manor celebrate the three-year renovation completion of a 21-acre affordable housing campus featuring 348 affordable homes. Completed more than five months early, the campus extends affordability for some 420 Gold Star Mothers, veterans, and seniors residents who call it home.

“The transformation of our campus here in Long Beach was 40 years in the making,” remarked Terry Geiling, President & CEO of American Gold Star Manor. “This renovation is more than just building repairs. The renovation ensures that our Veterans and seniors have an affordable place where they age independently – a place, a community, they can call home.”

The property was acquired in 1975 from the United States Navy by American Gold Star Mothers, Inc., who sought to provide service-enhanced affordable housing for mothers who had lost sons or daughters in service of their county. In partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD), the Mothers built the apartment homes combined with a wide range of ancillary buildings to better serve the population. In 2011, HUD recognized a need to convert the Manor’s rental subsidies and develop a plan that would preserve the Manor as service-enhanced affordable housing for generations to come.

“It was an honor to bring our development expertise to AGSM for the renovation of this extraordinary campus,” said Robin Hughes, President & CEO of Abode Communities. “In partnership with AGSM, we accelerated construction activities and leveraged a wide range of financing, including $3.12 million in annual operating subsidies from HUD through its Rental Assistance Demonstration Program and Project-Based Housing Choice Vouchers.” Hughes continued, “While the financing and subsidies play a vital role in the long-term operation of property, they allow the Manor to offer permanently affordable housing for decades to come.”

“AGSM and Abode Communities worked to stabilize key populations in this Westside community of Long Beach, where 18.5% of people live below the poverty line,” said Long Beach Councilman Roberto Uranga. “It is my hope we can continue to find innovative solutions like those happening at the Manor to expand and preserve affordable housing throughout our City.”

In addition to HUD, the project was made possible by more than $55 MM in construction and permanent financing from Citi Community Capital, and $30 MM in private equity from Raymond James syndicated through Low Income Housing Tax Credits.

Capital improvements included the replacement or partial replacement of major systems (sewer, HVAC, fire, elevator); replacement of permanent and electrical fixtures; environmentally sustainable upgrades; home upgrades; new paint and landscaping; and accessibility improvements.

“We look forward to remaining a big part of this community for years to come,” said Geiling. “Our legacy will forever remain valued and important. Those who risk their lives in service to our country deserve a place where they can thrive.”

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