Nesima Istrefi, a Long Beach resident who survived a stroke, stands to benefit if the Beachwood Apartments in downtown Long Beach continue to be offered at below-market rental rates.
“This building is all disabled people and people with low incomes,” she said during a Monday afternoon interview at her front door. “I like it here.”
Istrefi, 61, said she was bedridden and unable to walk nor talk for a time after her stroke, but she can now move around with the aid of a cane. The amount about of rent she pays at Beachwood allows her to keep about a third of her income for herself after spending the rest on rent and other bills.
She’s lived at the apartment complex, which is in the Willmore City area of Long Beach, for about two years.
“God is good to me,” she said. “He protects me.”
PRESERVING AFFORDABLE HOUSING
The City Council and others recently took action to ensure the 45-unit buildings remains affordable.
Century, an affiliate of Century Housing Corp. and Century Villages at Cabrillo, owns the complex.
Board members for the Long Beach Community Investment Co., a city agency, voted last August to loan $2.1 million to Century to help that company buy the Beachwood Apartments.
The City Council then voted on Feb. 7 to support Century’s effort to obtain $15 million in bond financing from the California Municipal Finance Authority to improve the buildings. Century would be able to use bond revenues and tax credits to improve the buildings through such renovations as roofing improvements and the additions of dual-pane windows, low-flow faucets and the planting of drought tolerant plants.
Affordable housing requirements at Beachwood Apartments had been scheduled to expire in mid-2018. The new plan calls for affordability covenants to remain in effect for 55 years.
With the exception of one unit reserved for the building manager, the covenants will require Beachwood Apartments units to be reserved for households that are headed by a disabled adult and earning no more than 60 percent of area median income.
The Beachwood Apartments consist of two buildings, one on Fifth Street and another on Sixth Street, near Magnolia Avenue.
Patrick Ure, housing development officer in Long Beach’s Development Services Department, said the Beachwood Apartments had been among several affordable housing complexes that city officials are required to monitor because of a risk that they may be converted from affordable housing to market-rate housing.