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LINC in the News
Whittier approves first low-income rental housing project
Whittier Daily News, March 14, 2011
By Mike Sprague, Staff Writer

WHITTIER — The city’s first low-income rental housing project for non-senior citizens has been approved.

LINC Housing Corp., a Long Beach-based affordable housing developer, will build the 21-unit two-story, 27,900 square-foot development on a half-acre vacant parcel at the southeast corner of Pickering Avenue and Philadelphia Street.

“We have a lot of faith in LINC because of their experience at the Hoover,” Councilman Bob Henderson said, referring to the Seasons at the Hoover Project for seniors in the Uptown area.

“They’ll have an on-site manager,” Henderson said. “They’ll have all kinds of special programs. It’s also going to be an attractive building.”

In LINC’s 26 years of existence it has been involved in the development of more than 6,000 units in California and owns 4,000 of them.

The company is in escrow to purchase the property for $645,000.

It’s also new development on a lot that has been empty since the 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake, said Mayor Greg Nordbak. A mortuary used to be there.

And it’s not a large project of the kind that can cause problems, Nordbak said.

The city will loan LINC $5 million at 2.5 percent interest in federal housing and redevelopment funds that will be paid back over a 58-year period.

Total cost of the project will be $9 million. LINV is applying for nearly $4 million in low-income housing federal tax credits that will allow it to finance the difference.

Sid Paul, director of acquisitions for LINC, said he’s optimistic his company will be successful. It has two rounds — the first this month and another in July — to apply.

Should LINC be unsuccessful, LINC would look for other sources of money, Paul said.

If successful, the project could open as soon as Jan. 30, 2014.

LINC plans to build six one-bedroom, eight two-bedroom and seven three-bedroom units.

They will be rented to 14 people, who have very low-incomes and six, who have moderate incomes.

To qualify as very low income, a family of three would make no more than $22,380 annually. The same size family with a moderate income would make no more than $44,000.

Rents will range from $500 to $1,200.

Paul said that low-income housing won't pose a problem to the city.

“People tend to think of it as a problem but the income targets people who work in this community and need housing,” he said.

“It’s not like we’re building housing to attract undesirable people from elsewhere,” Paul said. “We’re looking for people who work in the community and can’t afford to live here.”

LINC will provide a number of services, including afterschool programs, homework center, and help with health, fitness and finances.

“We find that building housing isn’t enough,” he said. “There needs to be complementary services to help the community sustain itself.”

Copyright © 2011 Whittier Daily News
Reprinted with permission.