National CORE and its partners, the City of Santa Ana, the Santa Ana United Methodist Church, and Mercy House, celebrate the closing of funding for Legacy Square, a transformational, transit-oriented, multipurpose, affordable housing development in downtown Santa Ana, adjacent to a future Orange County Streetcar station. The initial closing was delayed in anticipation of Congress passing a permanent minimum 4% low-income housing tax credit rate. Passed into law on December 27, 2020, the permanent 4% floor yielded $4 million in additional equity from Bank of America and eliminated the need for City funding. With the excess funding, National CORE, in partnership with the City of Santa Ana, hopes to bring additional affordable housing units to the region.

Legacy Square furthers the City of Santa Ana’s vision for creating inclusive and sustainable housing along transportation corridors, integrating health, wellness, and active living. The development will replace two underutilized buildings owned by the Santa Ana United Methodist Church. Once complete, Legacy Square will be 100 percent affordable, featuring 93 beautiful apartment homes, more than 1,750 square feet of ground-level flexible space, and a 3,800 square foot community center to serve as a neighborhood hub for events and activities. Mercy House will provide comprehensive supportive services, focusing on economic mobility and overall well-being.

National CORE was awarded $25.4 million from the California Strategic Growth Council in 2020. In addition to the housing, the AHSC funds will help increase the capacity of the region’s community rail systems by supporting Metrolink’s SCORE (Southern California Optimized Rail Expansion) program. Specifically, funding will allow Metrolink to increase rail capacity, train speeds, and service – facilitating departures up to every 15 minutes all day in both directions along the agency’s Orange County and Inland Empire-Orange County lines. Additional infrastructure improvements include new bicycle lanes, construction and repair of sidewalks, and creating a safe route to school for families in the neighborhood.

Legacy Square is a great example of the future in urban development, encompassing National CORE’s commitment to providing cost-contained, high-performance communities, providing affordable housing options near major transit systems, increasing mobility options, promoting sustainable urban design, and helping to transform the community.