LINCs 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 LINCs 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 Commissions (CEC)
Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) Programs 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