Photograph of a one-story community building with an entrance sign in the foreground and a three-story multifamily building in the background.
Photograph of a kitchen with a sink in a peninsula and a refrigerator, oven, and cabinets along the back wall.
Low-angle aerial photograph of a courtyard with a swimming pool and children’s play structure and a two-story multifamily building in the middle ground.
Photograph of a children’s play structure in front of a two-story residential building.
Photograph of a rotating net climber with a three-story multifamily building in the background.
Photograph of the front façade of a two-story multifamily building.

 

Home >Case Studies >San Bernardino, California: Valencia Vista Kicks Off Public Housing Redevelopment

 

San Bernardino, California: Valencia Vista Kicks Off Public Housing Redevelopment

 

The once-thriving community of San Bernardino County in California experienced a severe economic downturn in the 1980s as major steel and railroad employers left the community and the local U.S. Air Force base closed. The housing stock in the city of San Bernardino deteriorated as multifamily construction came to a standstill, and middle-class residents moved to safer neighborhoods outside of the city as poverty and crime rates increased. In 2012, the city filed for bankruptcy. As part of a larger effort to revitalize the city, the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino (HACSB) and partner National Community Renaissance (National CORE) created a master plan to redevelop Waterman Gardens, a 252-unit public housing complex built in 1943. The plan replaces the old public housing with a new mixed-use, mixed-income community called Arrowhead Grove. The $26.6 million first phase of the Arrowhead Grove plan, Valencia Vista, is HACSB’s first project to use the Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program. Valencia Vista, located on a parcel of land adjacent to Waterman Gardens, opened in late 2016 and offers 75 affordable units with priority given to residents of Waterman Gardens. The National Association of Housing Redevelopment Officials honored Valencia Vista with a 2017 National Award of Excellence in the category of affordable housing.

Relocation Site for Families

National CORE acquired Valencia Vista to be a relocation site for families from Waterman Gardens. Consisting of a 2-story building with 16 units and a 3-story building with 60 units, Valencia Vista provides 75 affordable apartments and 1 manager’s unit. The apartments range in size from one to four bedrooms with income limits set at four levels of the area median income (table 1). Valencia Vista is fully occupied and provides project-based vouchers for the affordable units.

Table 1: Valencia Vista Units by Income Limit

30% AMI45% AMI50% AMI60% AMITotal
1 bedroom-46-10
2 bedroom41581340
3 bedroom3131522
4 bedroom12--3
Total834151875

The Education Village

According to Gus Joslin, deputy executive director for HACSB, Valencia Vista was designed to accommodate families. In addition to large units, Valencia Vista includes an “education village” that combines aspects of home and school, the indoors and outdoors, nature and technology, and young and old in one environment. The goal is to encourage continuous learning through music and play, healthy living, and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) education. A 2,200-square-foot community center contains the education village’s afterschool program facilities, a computer lab, a children’s play area, and a fitness room. National CORE’s social service arm, Hope through Housing, provides educational programming at the community center. The education village also includes a central recreation area featuring a play structure, concrete seating walls, and a rotating net climber. In addition, the recreation area contains a musical courtyard inspired by a robust music program at the nearby elementary school. Valencia Village’s detention basin accommodates environmental and educational features including a community garden, outdoor amphitheater, and other activity nodes.

Financing for Valencia Vista

A permanent loan through the Federal Housing Administration’s Section 221(d)(4) program and equity from low-income housing tax credits financed most of the $26.6 million development (table 2). HOME Investment Partnerships Program loans from the city and county contributed to the remaining funding, and HACSB provided a low-interest loan using residual receipts from other projects. Under the RAD program, HACSB also converted annual public housing operating and capital subsidies to project-based vouchers, allowing the development team to use rental revenues to cover monthly construction loan payments.

Table 2: Valencia Vista Funding

Low-income housing tax credit equity – Wells Fargo$12,400,000
Section 221 (d)(4) loan10,500,000
City HOME loan1,500,000
HACSB loan1,000,000
County HOME loan800,000
Deferred developer fee400,000
Total$26,600,000

San Bernardino Revitalization

The master plan for Arrowhead Grove proposes a six-year construction project that will double Waterman Gardens’ density. The $150 to $200 million redevelopment will provide approximately 411 units (not including the 76 units located offsite at Valencia Vista) for individuals, families, and seniors. The second phase of Arrowhead Grove, Olive Meadows, has already been completed, adding 62 affordable units. The next step, says Joslin, is breaking ground on the two new phases that will add 147 affordable units and 36 market-rate units. Funded in part with a $20 million award from the California Strategic Growth Council, both phases will begin construction in spring 2019.

According to Joslin, the primary goal for Arrowhead Grove is to create a vibrant mixed-use community that can attract new commercial development and help catalyze redevelopment of the whole city. For the Arrowhead Grove project, specific goals include improving neighborhood safety, ensuring economic prosperity, and creating a healthy and walkable community. For revitalization of the broader community, Arrowhead Grove aligns with the city’s Waterman + Baseline Neighborhood Specific Plan, a master plan for several neighborhoods, including Arrowhead Grove, that calls for adequate housing, open community spaces, infrastructure, transportation services, and economic development in support of the larger San Bernardino community. A 2014 study by the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting anticipates that the construction of Arrowhead Grove will increase the city’s economic output by more than $80 million and support more than 1,000 jobs. The study also estimates that the project will generate more than $2 million in annual economic activity while also generating millions in tax revenue.


 

Source:

Interview with Gus Joslin, deputy executive director of the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino, 5 November 2018; Document provided by the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino; National Association of Housing and Redevelopment. 2017. “2017 Agency Awards of Excellence Winners,” 3. Accessed 7 November 2018; City of San Bernardino. 2016. “Waterman + Baseline Neighborhood Specific Plan.” Accessed 7 November 2018; National Community Renaissance. n.d. “Valencia Vista.” Accessed 7 November 2018; Arrowhead Grove. n.d. “Welcome to Valencia Vista.” Accessed 7 November 2018.

×

Source:

Interview with Gus Joslin, deputy executive director of the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino, 5 November 2018; Document provided by the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino; National Community Renaissance. n.d. “Valencia Vista.” Accessed 7 November 2018; City of San Bernardino. 2016. “Waterman + Baseline Neighborhood Specific Plan.” Accessed 7 November 2018.

×

Source:

Interview with Gus Joslin, 5 November 2018; National Community Renaissance. n.d. “The Education Village at Arrowhead Grove.” Accessed 7 November 2018; Document provided by the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino; Arrowhead Grove. n.d. “Welcome to Valencia Vista.” Accessed 7 November 2018.

×

Source:

Interview with Gus Joslin, 5 November 2018; Document provided by the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino.

×

Source:

Interview with Gus Joslin, 5 November 2018; National Community Renaissance. 2018. “San Bernardino becomes first city in Inland Empire to receive $20 million from the California Strategic Growth Council for a family-development project,” press release, 28 June. Accessed 7 November 2018; Email correspondence from Ana Gamiz, director of policy and public relations at the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino, 8 November 2017; National Community Renaissance. 2016. “National CORE breaks ground on first on-site phase of former Waterman Gardens redevelopment,” press release, 30 June. Accessed 7 November 2018; City of San Bernardino. 2016. “Waterman + Baseline Neighborhood Specific Plan.” Accessed 7 November 2018.

×

Source:

Interview with Gus Joslin, 5 November 2018; Arrowhead Grove. n.d. “Welcome to Arrowhead Grove.” Accessed 7 November 2018; City of San Bernardino. 2016. “Waterman + Baseline Neighborhood Specific Plan.” Accessed 7 November 2018; Arrowhead Grove. n.d. “Waterman+Baseline Neighborhood Specific Plan.” Accessed 7 November 2018. Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino. 2016. “Grand Opening held for first phase of Arrowhead Grove redevelopment,” press release, 28 November. Accessed 7 November 2018.

×