CATHEDRAL CITY – An affordable housing complex at 31-750 Landau Blvd., built shortly after the end of World War II, is receiving long-overdue attention and upgrades.
Cathedral Palm Senior Apartments, comprised of 231 units, is an affordable housing development for those over age 55. Some 80 percent of the units are restricted to residents’ income is not more than 50 percent of the county’s average median income (AMI). The balance of the units, 20 percent, is restricted to those who earn 40 percent or less of the AMI.
“Technically we’re not creating more affordable housing, we’re trying to preserve and save housing that has served Cathedral City and the west end of the Coachella Valley,” said Tony Mize, vice president of Acquisitions for National CORE, who is working with the city to rehab the development.
Over the past decade, several unsuccessful efforts have been to rehabilitate the development. First, redevelopment money ran dry. Then Housing and Urban Development money became scarce.
“We could never get anywhere on trying to do the whole thing at once,” said Mize. “Quite frankly, you know, fancy new projects from the ground up are more favored than rehabs of old buildings. It’s 10 acres with 231 units on it, so it was a big project to bite off.”
Rather than attempt to redevelop the entire development, National CORE and the city have agreed to attack the massive undertaking in phases.
“These units are for seniors on either social security, or disability and have no other sources of income,” Mize said. “We feel that the proper and correct path here is to do a significant rehab of all of these units so that they can continue to be affordable well into the future.”
For now, the focus is in on phase one, which includes, four, eight-unit buildings that houses all studio apartments. The entire project is considered a six-year, five-phase plan that has yet to be funded and no total price tag affixed to it.
Financial assistance is expected to come from the city, the county, National CORE, and soft loans, Mize said.
“I also think philanthropic assistance will be provided by people who understand helping the homeless crisis we’re going through,” Mize said.
The city has been in discussions on this project, but as of now there has not been any city financial participation that has been approved, City Manager Charles McClendon told Uken Report.
McClendon agreed with Mize in that the project is not adding new affordable housing.
“It is a rehab of existing housing, therefore, it will not have an effect on our affordable housing requirement,” McClendon said.