Santa Angelina, developed in partnership with the Episcopal Church of the Blessed Sacrament, is one of the first communities in the state to receive California Housing Accelerator funding
Placentia, Calif. – National CORE and its partners celebrate the groundbreaking of Santa Angelina, a new affordable housing community for seniors, in Placentia. Through a partnership with the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and the Episcopal Church of the Blessed Sacrament, National CORE is transforming underutilized land owned by the church into 65 much-needed apartment homes for seniors, 62 or better, who earn less than 60% of the area median income. Twenty-one of these new homes will provide supportive housing for seniors experiencing or at-risk of homelessness.
“The partnership and generosity of the Episcopal Church of the Blessed Sacrament and the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles have made this beautiful community possible,” said National CORE President and CEO Steve PonTell. “These homes are not simply four walls and roof, but rather, housing that is safe, supportive, and allows seniors to age with dignity. Together, we are providing a platform – housing and onsite services – to help older adults live independently in their own homes.”
Santa Angelina is National CORE’s fourth affordable community since 2021 that has been developed in partnership with faith-based organizations in Southern California. As the housing crisis continues, churches – which often own large plots of land within established residential neighborhoods – are considering new ways to assist their communities, partnering with affordable housing developers to provide much-needed housing.
“The Diocese of Los Angeles is celebrating this bellwether project in Placentia, where a congregation with vision and a heart of love is making room at the inn for neighbors and friends they haven’t even met yet,” said the Rt. Rev. John Harvey Taylor, bishop of the diocese. “With affordable housing needed so desperately throughout our region, and many parishes with available real estate looking for ways to sustain themselves and serve, we are looking forward to many such projects with our amazing partners at National CORE and Episcopal Communities & Services.”
In 2018, National CORE began working with the Episcopal Church of the Blessed Sacrament and Episcopal Communities & Services (ECS) to develop Santa Angelina on land made available through a ground lease from the church. ECS serves Episcopal churches throughout the LA region to increase the available affordable housing inventory.
National CORE also will be partnering with ECS and St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church in Buena Park to develop Orchard View Gardens, another senior affordable housing community expected to break ground in late 2023.
“We are excited as we embark on this incredible outreach ministry together, to provide the necessary low cost housing that our senior citizens need and deserve.” said the Rev. Barrett Van Buren, rector of the Episcopal Church of the Blessed Sacrament. “We thank God for such abundance being made manifest on our sacred grounds of our local community and for our parish to be central for all the future residents.”
Land is not the only challenge facing affordable developers today. Traditionally, affordable housing developments across the state and nation are funded in part by low-income housing tax credits awarded by state and federal governments. With land and hard construction costs continuing to soar, these limited tax credits become increasingly competitive to secure, leaving many otherwise shovel-ready developments stalled in the funding pipeline.
Santa Angelina is one of the first 27 developments to be funded in tier 1 of the California Housing Accelerator program. Launched in 2021 by the California Department of Housing and Community Development, the California Housing Accelerator is meant to fast-track affordable housing developments that have been stalled by the cap on state tax credits and bonds.
“When we launched the California Housing Accelerator, we had clear objectives – eliminate the backlog of projects standing in long lines for tax credits and bonds, bring affordable housing to communities in need, and reduce the amount of time and money involved to make these homes available,” said Gustavo Velasquez, Director of California’s Department of Housing and Community Development. “We are pleased to partner with National CORE and Orange County to accelerate this much needed housing.”
In February 2022, National CORE and the Orange County Health Care Agency received $17,415,777 in funding from the program for Santa Angelina, allowing the development to move forward without the use of traditional low-income housing tax credits. Prior to this funding, Santa Angelina had received No Place Like Home funding awarded to both National CORE and Orange County through HCD.
This program expands the ways affordable developers and government agencies can work together to reduce the backlog of projects stuck in the funding pipeline and accelerate the development of housing for those most in need.
“I’m so proud to bring affordable senior housing options to Placentia, and I think this development is a great use of this once underutilized land. This groundbreaking highlights the City’s commitment to creating affordable, quality housing options and services for all our residents,” said Placentia Mayor Rhonda Shader. “Santa Angelina will provide 65 much-needed homes and services to help ensure the security and well-being of our senior population, and I look forward to welcoming new residents to Placentia.”
Additional funding for the development comes through the California Housing Finance Agency’s Special Needs Housing Program, the Orange County Housing Finance Trust, Century Housing, and Chase.
“The Health Care Agency, Mental Health and Recovery Services is excited to partner with National CORE, Orange County Community Resources, and many others to bring 21 MHSA units to the County of Orange. These beds will provide 100% affordable permanent supportive housing for individuals 62 years and older living with a mental illness so that they have a safe and stable environment to focus on their recovery and personal growth,” said Dr. Veronica Kelley, Chief of Mental Health & Recovery Services at the Orange County Health Care Agency. “One of the key elements to successfully housing individuals in permanent supportive housing are the onsite support services and MHRS will be onsite with Pathways OASIS to provide that support and oversite.”
Santa Angelina will be a highly sustainable and resource-efficient community, anticipated to achieve LEED for Homes certification at the Gold level or higher. Residents of Santa Angelina will belong to an engaged, service-enriched village linked to the adjacent church and surrounding community through a network of paseos, plazas, and courtyards. The community will feature an onsite community center where the Hope through Housing Foundation will provide onsite programs and services, providing residents with the resources and support they need to thrive. Other amenities include outdoor recreation areas, garden space, and laundry facilities.
“This new community will change the lives of seniors who greatly need safe, stable housing and services that support them as they age,” said Greg Bradbard, National CORE Senior Vice President of Social Impact and Hope through Housing President. “We are truly thankful to all of the partners and stakeholders who have come together on this transformative development, and we are excited to soon welcome Santa Angelina residents to their homes.”
# # #
To learn more about Santa Angelina or to be put on the property mailing list, please visit the Santa Angelina community page
About National CORE
National CORE, based in Southern California, is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit developers of affordable housing. National CORE manages nearly 9,000 affordable, senior, and market-rate units in California, Texas, and Florida. National CORE’s strength is in its ability to offer partners an array of in-house capabilities that navigates the complexities of planning, developing, building, managing, and providing supportive services. For more information on National CORE, please visit www.nationalcore.org.
About Hope through Housing
Hope through Housing believes that affordable housing can be a platform for transformational change at the individual and neighborhood level. For more than 20 years, the Hope through Housing Foundation has provided more than 2 million hours of transformational social services helping children and teens achieve success, improving families’ financial well-being, and promoting seniors’ health and wellness. For more information on Hope through Housing, please visit www.hthf.org.
About Episcopal Communities & Services (ECS)
For a century, ECS has continually delivered on one profound commitment – to create exceptional adult living communities and services for seniors. ECS works with churches throughout the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles to increase the supply of affordable housing and offer a broad spectrum of care and services to foster good health, fulfillment, and spiritual well-being in the lives of older adults. For more information on ECS, please visit www.ecsforseniors.org.
About the California Housing Accelerator
In 2021, the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) launched the California Housing Accelerator program to reduce the backlog of projects “stuck” in the funding pipeline to accelerate the development of housing for those most in need. These funds will be used to fill funding gaps in shovel-ready projects that have received funding under other HCD programs and have been unable to access low-income housing tax credits. This program was started with a $1.75 billion investment with monies received from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund established by the federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA).