First Phase of Affordable Senior Community Completed

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The affordable senior community will improve the quality of life for low-income Palmdale seniors by providing homes and vital social services.

PALMDALE, Ca. – Patricia Quinn spent a lot of time and energy hunting for an affordable place to live after her Los Angeles apartment building was razed to make way for upscale condominiums.

Quinn, 71, wasn’t having any luck until she found Whispering Palms, the first phase of a luxury master-planned downtown community for low-income seniors in downtown Palmdale. She moved in to her new one-bedroom unit July 7.

Quinn joined city leaders, other local seniors and officials from the non-profit developer National Community Renaissance today to celebrate the grand opening of Whispering Palms.

More than half the units are already leased at the $14.2 million project, the product of a public-private partnership between Rancho-Cucamonga-based National Community Renaissance (National CORE) and the Palmdale Redevelopment Agency.

The apartment community at Ave.Q-10 and 9th Street East is part of the city’s Courson Connection downtown revitalization plan that calls for the construction of 300 affordable senior apartments, a park, and a 15,000-square-foot senior community center.

“This is a vital and vibrant project that will serve the needs of our growing senior population now and for decades to come,” said the city’s Housing Manager Mike Adams. “Whispering Palms is not only a milestone in our continuing efforts to address affordable housing in our community, but it is also a landmark project in the advancement of the City’s downtown revitalization goals.”

The 75 newly constructed one and two bedroom apartments are renting for $400 and $600 a month to seniors who earn 50 percent or less of the area median income.

Moving into Whispering Palms has given Quinn access to several amenities including the community room with computers that will help her remain active and van transportation to medical appointments, shopping, and other destinations.

Quinn, who is on a fixed income, hopes to make a mini-documentary about her new-found senior friends at Whispering Palms using her son’s digital camera. The location near downtown will allow her to maintain an independent lifestyle, Quinn said.

“I have the best apartment in the building. It’s quiet, nice, comfortable and affordable,” she said. “This is the perfect situation for me.
Located close to Antelope Valley Transit lines, Whispering Palms residents are just a short walk away from the city’s senior center, library, the Palmdale Playhouse, the Larry Chimbole Cultural Center and Courson Park.

Whispering Palms amenities includes security gates and fencing, energy-efficient appliances, inviting outdoor open spaces, a barbecue area, central laundry facilities and a 4,200 senior community center with a kitchen for residents.

Hope Through Housing, an affiliate organization created by National CORE, will offer a wide array of social services programs at the community center to assist residents. Planned programs range from case management services to senior health fairs, exercise and lunch programs, ceramics and computer classes, as well as evening events, and more.

Orlando Cabrera, CEO of National CORE, said the builder remains committed to improving the quality of life in communities by creating affordable housing opportunities and social service programs for families and seniors throughout the country.

“This is fundamental to our mission and necessary for establishing safe, healthy environments that will endure for decades down the road,” Cabrera said.

As part of the project, National CORE also made a number of neighborhood improvements, such as improving sidewalks, streets, sewer lines and the water main.

Funding for Whispering Palms came from the Palmdale Redevelopment Agency, California HOME investment partnership funds, low income housing tax credits and other public sources.

National Community Renaissance (National CORE) currently operates 9,500 affordable housing apartments providing homes to more than 27,000 individuals in six states, including Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey and Texas.

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