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The VILLAGE at Beechwood
 



 

 

 

 

 

Preservation and Green Retrofit

LINC’s property in Lancaster, California is the site of both a transformational renovation to preserve existing affordable apartments in 2002 and a landmark sustainability project in 2014. Our LINC Cares staff operates family activities and a vibrant after-school program.

In 2002, LINC purchased a 100-apartment community in Lancaster, formerly called Beechwood Manor, but known by the neighborhood as “crack alley” because of drug and crime problems. Expiring HUD 236 restrictions had put the property in danger of being sold to for-profit developers who could have converted the complex to market-rate which might have doubled the rents paid by these 100 limited-income families, or perhaps, bulldozed the structures altogether in favor of building a few more lucrative single-family homes. The terms of LINC’s purchase preserved the affordability of these 100 rentals for limited-income families the next 55 years. We changed the name to The VILLAGE at Beechwood to reflect the physical and emotional transformation that has since taken place and the positive new image in which our residents take pride.

LINC brought in new management and tougher resident screening to eradicate the crime problem. Careful financial planning coupled with new tax-exempt bonds allowed us to renovate each of the neglected apartments with new paint, cabinets, carpet, flooring, energy efficient appliances, HVAC, double-paned windows, and other modern utilities and safety features. Our carefully staggered plan of construction enabled families to stay on the property while their home was under rehabilitation — keeping schooling and other neighborhood support systems intact. The addition of a new community building with computers, kitchen, and activity rooms has given a new heart to this transformed neighborhood as have the colorful new play equipment, new landscaping, and privacy gates.

In 2014, LINC kicks off retrofit work at The Village at Beechwood as part of a demonstration project sponsored through the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Program’s “Building Energy Efficiency Research and Technology Grant Program” and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The $2.46-million project includes engineering, research, project management, and construction for energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy. We are testing innovative and scalable approaches in the multifamily market, including near net zero energy, and implementing robust measurement and verification systems to record energy savings.