Sunday, October 25, 2009

EDA Set to demolish up to 184 apartments

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.)  "The 19th and Sunrise area has a history of police and code enforcement involvement and is a blighting influence on the surrounding community," said Emil Marzullo, interim executive director of the San Bernardino Economic Development Agency.

A major problem with the area is that it has changed owners over the years. When it was built there was one owner of the 61 multifamily fourplexes.  The owner had the resources to maintain the properties in good condition, rent to good people and evict those who were not," said Marzullo.

“About 20 years ago that company sold the multiplexes and now we have many different owners with many different standards for renting,” he added. “Some have no regard for their properties and have allowed them to decline into unlivable conditions. A number of the properties are rented to people who cannot rent anywhere else.  Some are forced to pay first class rents of $1,200 or more a month for very poor quality housing.”

The redevelopment agency and the San Bernardino City Council have agreed the time is right to immediately stabilize the area of the city adversely affected by this poorly maintained and operated residential housing complex.

The agency’s plan is to use a non-profit housing developer to purchase and rehabilitate 100 units of apartments for rent.  The agency is purchasing the remaining 46 four-plex buildings, with up to 184 apartments set for demolition.

The vacant land will be used to build new single family housing and senior housing in the next few years as the housing market improves.

There are currently 244 low-income apartment units within 61 fourplexes and 10 vacant lots at the 19th and Sunrise project area.

When complete the 19th Street and Sunrise area will have:
•    100 units of rental apartments for families of four that make up to $53,300 a year.
•    40 – 55 single family homes for sale to families of four who make up to $77,400 a year.
•    65 units of senior apartments for rent to households that make up to $42,650 a year for a family of two. 

The end result will deliver 205 to 215 units of housing – 144 fewer apartments and 31 to 41 fewer housing units than when the agency started.

Agency staff has determined the best method for acquiring, rehabilitating and operating apartments for rent would be through a non-profit company that could perform all of these functions on the agency’s behalf. The agency selected Mary Erickson Community Housing through a competitive application process.

Mary Erickson Community Housing is a non-profit agency specializing in housing, with greater capacity than the City of San Bernardino Economic Development Agency for rehabilitating and professionally managing apartments for low to moderate-income families.

Mary Erickson Community Housing was founded in 1991. Its namesake was a retired schoolteacher who was devoted to the principals of community participation and well being. The company established its first affordable housing complex in San Clemente and has since grown to include multiple properties serving hundreds of diverse, hard working, low income families in Southern California including: Moreno Valley, Corona, Loma Linda, Riverside and now San Bernardino.
Preventing future multiple owners
To make sure the rental apartments can never be sold to multiple owners and create unsafe and unregulated conditions again, as the properties are purchased the deeds will be changed to make them each one parcel.
• 15 separate apartment complexes on the north side of 19th Street will become one complete parcel.
• 10 fourplexes on the south side of Sunrise Lane will become one complete parcel.

Current and Future Residents
Current residents will be asked to apply to live in the newly renovated apartments. Mary Erickson Community Housing will have active on site management, new rental agreements and new rules designed to keep the neighborhood safe and attractive.

Mary Erickson Community Housing also provides life skills education to help all residents gain skills to better manage their families and finances.

Phase 1
Currently, Mary Erickson Community Housing is purchasing the vacant, foreclosed and boarded up properties in the19th and Sunrise area.

Mary Erickson Community Housing has already acquired three properties and expects to begin construction in the coming weeks to rehabilitate those apartments. Phase 1 is complete when the 15 separate apartment complexes on the north side of 19th street and the 10 fourplexes on the south side of Sunrise Lane are acquired and rehabilitated. 

For its investment with Mary Erickson Community Housing for the apartments, the agency will receive half (50 percent) of any “surplus cash flow” after all operating expenses and debt service payments have been made on each property acquired, rehabilitated and placed into service by Mary Erickson Community Housing.

Phase 2
Concurrently, the agency is also purchasing properties in the area bounded by 19th Street to the north, Sunrise Lane to the south, Guthrie to the east and Argyle to the west. These properties will be acquired and demolished. The initial cost to the agency is $1.6 million.

Phase 3
When cleared and available the agency will prepare 12 parcels of the land for senior housing and issue a request for proposal to build 65 units of senior apartments. The project will be funded from future agency and developer funds.

Phase 4
In the future as housing demand returns the agency will issue a request for proposals to build 40 – 55 single family homes. The project will be funded from future agency and developer funds. The number of homes depends on the lot size for the homes.

For more information on this project call the City of San Bernardino Economic Development Agency at (909) 963-5020 and ask for Sam Hughes.