The Salvation Army took another step closer toward making its Center for Hope apartments project a reality last week when the Anaheim City Council voted unanimously to issue $22 million in tax-exempt municipal bonds to finance the construction and acquisition costs for a 70-unit, 100% affordable development.
The apartments will serve individuals who earn 30% or less of the area median income.
“It has about six different levels of financing, so this is one of the final steps in trying to make sure our partners at the Salvation Army have everything they need to break ground,” Grace Ruiz-Stepter, the acting executive director of the Anaheim Housing Authority, told the council.
Ruiz-Stepter noted the groundbreaking is slated to take place on January 31.
The project has come before the Anaheim City Council several times for various approvals since 2019.
The bonds are repaid solely from rental revenues from the apartment development; there is no default risk to the Anaheim Housing Authority in the event a default.
The affordable apartments are part of the Salvation Army’s larger Center of Hope is a 190,000 square foot facility on a 6.9 acre campus at 1340 S. Lewis Street in Anaheim. It provides a comprehensive approach to helping the homeless achieve dignity and self-reliance. The complex includes a 325-bed low-barrier emergency shelter, 72-bed permanent supportive housing, onsite medical and dental care, as well as a 175-bed drug and alcohol rehabilitation center.
The Salvation Army’s approaches homelessness from the perspective of treating the whole person – physical, spiritual, emotional – rather than tackling it as an economic problem requiring meeting the immediate materials needs of homeless individuals.
According to the Salvation Army, the project will cost $60 million to develop, have a combined staff of over 95 full and part-time employees, and have an annual operating budget of $10.95 million, funded through the City of Anaheim and HUD voucher program.
“It is a great project. 100% affordable housing,” said Mayor Harry Sidhu. “It’s a beautiful project, and we’re all excited to have the groundbreaking soon.”
District 5 Councilman Steve Faessel praised the project, noting he has helped secure in some funding for it through the Orange County Housing Finance Trust, “which contributed several millions towards this project.”
“We can’t get this done fast enough,” said Faessel.