Looking Back on 2020

As we reflect back on a challenging 2020, we’d like to recount a sampling of the Century team’s proudest achievements. These accomplishments reflect the best of Century’s values, advancing our mission of making homes the cornerstone of a thriving and just society.

  • Century celebrates 25 years of service with two $25,000 donations to charter schools that we established and helped operate. Both schools are located in Inglewood and serve low income, minority communities. Find out more at https://century.org/25th/
  • Century closed loans totaling approximately $209M, which will create and preserve 4,544 affordable homes for families, seniors, and veterans at a average affordability of 46.5% of AMI and will help create more than 4,400 construction jobs. We continue to be the highest volume CDFI lender to affordable and workforce housing in the State.
  • Our remarkable Century Villages at Cabrillo staff responded rapidly to the pandemic to provide supportive services, community engagement activities, and property management services, addressing the acute needs of their vulnerable population. This included the coordination and deployment of COVID resources for residents including masks, COVID testing, food vouchers, Internet access, and more, resulting in one of the lowest infection rates compared to similar shared living areas.
  • Century was assigned a ‘AA’ Rating with a stable outlook by Fitch Ratings, one of the major nationally recognized financial rating organization. This rating joins our current S&P Global’s AA- rating and makes Century the first CDFI to be rated by both Fitch and S&P.
  • Century issued $85 million in ESG municipal CUSIP bonds to advance our mission throughout the state of California, becoming the first CDFI to come to market with a municipal bond CUSIP. The third-party opinion by Sustainalytics attests to both the environmental and social benefits that will be created by the homes made possible by these bonds.
  • Our Long Beach development, The Beacon, received numerous prestigious awards, including SCANPH Development of the Year, AIA-LA Residential Architecture Award, PCBC Gold Nugget Grand Award, and Multi-Housing News Excellence Award.
  • In July, a required VA public hearing took place, which cleared the path for development activities at the West LA VA campus. Century and partners Thomas Safran & Associates (TSA) and U.S.VETS continued advocacy for the West LA Campus Improvements Act, which was introduced to Congress by Senator Feinstein in the fall. TSA broke ground on Building 207 and the Dry Utility Trunkline. Visit wlavc.org to learn more.
  • Century and partners, HACLA, Richman Group, and National CORE submitted the One San Pedro Transformation Plan to This plan was the result of extensive hands-on community outreach, planning and design work, and due diligence and assessment activities. It will pave the way for future development activities, including up to 1,400 homes, parks and open space, and commercial and supportive service space. Find out more at www.onesanpedro.org

 

The Beacon Wins at SCANPH

The Beacon Honored with SCANPH’s Award for Overall Excellence

The Beacon Wins at SCANPH

 

We are proud to share that our Long Beach development, The Beacon, was awarded Multi-Family Development of the Year by SCANPH at the Annual Conference’s Homes Within Reach Awards Ceremony. The award recognizes excellence in affordable housing among projects completed in the last year. Selections are submitted by SCANPH members and chosen by an independent jury of professionals from throughout SCANPH’s regional footprint.

The Beacon, home to veterans, formerly homeless people, and very-low-income seniors, is centrally located directly across from a Metro Blue Line stop and two high-frequency bus lines and serves as a physical gateway to Downtown Long Beach. Opened in 2019, The Beacon features a new bus shelter and approach, community rooms, barbecue areas, and computer rooms, with wrap around social services provided through Mental Health America. Beacon is a mixed-use project with 6,200 square feet of retail along Long Beach Boulevard.

“Century is extremely proud of our Beacon Project providing 160 beautiful and much needed affordable homes to veterans and vulnerable seniors,” said Brian D’Andrea, Senior Vice President of Century. “Beyond homes, The Beacon will provide residents with supportive services and connectivity to job and service centers via the Metro light rail and local bus lines. We thank all our partners for making Beacon possible, especially Wells Fargo, KPRS and The Architects Collective. We are most thankful to the City of Long Beach for its financial and overall support through its amazing Development Services and Housing Authority teams.”

The Beacon wins PCBC Golden Nugget

The Beacon Shines With PCBC Gold Nugget Grand Award

The Beacon wins PCBC Golden Nugget

Century’s commitment to exceptionally-designed affordable housing was recognized with a PCBC Gold Nugget Grand Award for Best Affordable Senior Housing Community presented to our Long Beach development, The Beacon. The seven-story, 121-unit building, centrally located near public transit and serving as a physical gateway to Downtown Long Beach, overcame a series of funding and approval obstacles before it opened in 2019. It is now home to very-low-income seniors making less than 50% of AMI. Community rooms, barbecue areas, and computer rooms add to the quality of life for residents, with social services provided through Mental Health America.

“The Beacon exemplifies Century’s effort to provide quality, sustainably-built affordable homes that are near transit and developed in collaboration with the surrounding community and the City of Long Beach, which played an integral role in making this happen. We are especially excited for the low-income seniors who will benefit from access to Downtown Long Beach and many other resources connected to the Metro Blue Line,” said Brian D’Andrea, Senior Vice President of Century.

PCBC’s 57th annual Gold Nugget Awards, held virtually this year, recognize excellence in architectural design and planning achievements. A panel of top industry experts reviewed nearly 600 entries from around the world spanning more than 50 categories.

Del Rey Square Opens to LA Seniors

Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl took the wraps off Del Rey Square, a 124 unit senior housing community in West Los Angeles, on April 12, 2013. Open to formerly homeless  and low-income seniors, the complex includes a computer room, fitness center, and private balconies and patios which complement the spectacular Spanish-style exterior.

Century helped finance the project with a $9,547,500 acquisition loan through the New Generation Fund to Thomas Safran & Associates, an award-winning developer responsible for more than 40 properties throughout Los Angeles.

ALA’s Janet L. Witkins Center Breaks Ground

Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky joined a long roster of city officials to celebrate the ground breaking of The Janet L. Witkins Center in the heart of West Hollywood on March 15, 2013. Named after the founder of Affordable Living for the Aging (ALA), an organization dedicated to senior housing and also this project’s developer, the center will be the nation’s first sustainably and universally designed home for vulnerable seniors.

Century’s $850,000 acquisition and predevelopment loan helped finance the 17 unit project targeting seniors with incomes at or below 30% of the area median income.

Hudson Oaks Rises from Ashes

Aaron and Ron at the Hudson Oak Opening

Ann Marie Hickambottom, Ron Griffith, Dana Trujillo, Robin Hughes, Holly Benson, and Aaron Wooler (click to enlarge)

This past Wednesday, the historic Washington Square neighborhood in Northwest Pasadena welcomed back Hudson Oaks, a prominent senior housing development brought down by a 2005 fire. Thanks in part to Century’s $3,560,000 in acquisition financing, Abode Communities has modernized the crippled building to LEED for Home Platinum status with great care taken to match the area’s characteristic Craftsman-style architecture.

Most of the 45 new residents and their families attended the opening event, where everyone got a taste of the stunning mountain views the lucky seniors will be enjoying from their balconies. Too bad the mayor was out sick, because I’m not sure there is a better example of an affordable housing success story in the city—congratulations to Abode Communities and everyone involved.

Hudson Oaks was the first development to benefit from the LA County Innovation Fund.

Visit the Abode Communities site for details about the development.
Read a summary of the project at the time of groundbreaking last year.

Mixed-Income Housing…Will it Finally Be Favored?

Two of Century’s largest clients, Meta Housing and AMCAL Multi-Housing, are featured in an article about mixed-income housing in the March/April 2012 issue of Urban Land. The author, Patricia Kirk, highlights several public-private ventures in Portland (OR), Austin, and especially Southern California, where public agencies financial assistance made vibrant communities with a range of income levels possible.

kirk_3_351

Meta Housing received financial help from the city of Tustin for Coventry Senior Apartments

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Innovative Financing in Pasadena

Century is pleased to announce the closing of a $1,000,000 acquisition and predevelopment loan for Bridge Housing‘s Heritage Square, 70 apartments for very low income seniors in Pasadena. Century’s loan helped the LA County Housing Innovation Fund live up to its name, as the closing deadline outpaced the completion of the land lease, so Century’s loan had to be closed without real estate collateral, substituting a letter of credit.

Heritage Square

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Century Backs CRA/LA in Sylmar

Sylmar Court RenderingNew state legislation, and a resulting court challenge, affected redevelopment agencies statewide and could have derailed a high-impact affordable housing development in Sylmar. But a smart partnership and timely bridge financing between Century Housing, developer DDCM and the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles has kept the project on track.

CRA/LA approved purchase of a Sylmar development site in August, planning to lease it to DDCM to build Sylmar Court, a project with 150 units of senior affordable housing plus ground-floor retail. But the California Supreme Court put the deal on hold when it issued a stay while it reviewed new redevelopment legislation. CRA/LA faced losing the property when sellers declined to extend an option on the lot beyond September 30th.

On September 1st, CRA/LA contacted Century to arrange a $3.1 million bridge loan for the Sylmar property. Century was able to underwrite, approve and close the loan in 29 days, thanks to close cooperation with CRA/LA’s East Valley Region staff and DDCM President Kurken Alyanakian.

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Affordable Apartments on the Westside?

Del Rey Groundbreaking

Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, and Century Housing staff joined developer Tom Safran to celebrate the groundbreaking for Del Rey Square Senior Housing on July 14, where 124 low-income senior citizens will soon be living later next year. Del Rey Square is the first affordable apartment development on the Westside to go up in more than ten years, providing high-quality housing options for a very needy population. The project will improve a vacant lot on Culver Blvd, which has been empty for many years.

The 124-apartment project is a joint venture of Thomas Safran & Associates and the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, where HACLA will manage 30 of the apartments and rent them to public housing tenants, and TSA will manage the remaining 94 apartments, as well as providing quality-of-life programs for the residents. Century’s CEO, Ron Griffith, was excited to see that Thomas Safran is continuing to bring their high standard of development to West Los Angeles: “The Westside is in desperate need of affordable senior apartments, and Century is pleased to be a part of this effort,” said Mr. Griffith.

Century’s provided the initial financing with a $9,475,500 land acquisition loan in January 2009, funded through the New Generation Fund, to get the project rolling less than three years ago, and Del Rey Square will open its doors to local seniors in Winter 2012.

Related Links:

The Argonaut (http://www.argonautnewspaper.com/articles/2011/07/22/news_-_features/del_rey/d1.txt)

The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (http://www.hacla.org/en/rel/912/

Photo Credit: Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles