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Apartment Building for Elderly to Be Built in Santa Monica

October 01, 1987

A 72-unit apartment building for low-income elderly will be built in Santa Monica with a $4-million federal loan, a project that officials say will help relieve a critical housing shortage for senior citizens.

The six-story complex will be built on a half-acre city parking lot in downtown Santa Monica on 3rd Street north of Wilshire Boulevard, City Councilman Dennis Zane said at a news conference Wednesday.

The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development on Tuesday announced award of the loan to the Retirement Housing Foundation, a national, nonprofit firm.

Completion of the building is expected for 1990.

The project was Zane's brainchild and received a lobbying push from U.S. Rep. Mel Levine (D-Santa Monica) and Sens. Alan Cranston and Pete Wilson, Zane said.

"There is a critical shortage of affordable housing in Santa Monica," Levine said in a prepared statement. "This is an exciting and innovative approach to addressing that critical need."

About 18,000 senior citizens live in Santa Monica and about half of them are considered low income, Zane said.

Six complexes currently offer a total of 834 units of subsidized housing to senior citizens in Santa Monica. The new project is the first to be built in six years.

The total cost of the project is $5 million, with the extra million dollars to be paid for by the developer's purchase of "air rights" from the city, Zane said.

"The only cost to the city is making the land available," Zane said.

Eighteen of the units will be studios and 54 will be one-bedroom apartments. The 83 metered parking spaces on the lot where the building will go are to be replaced on the first two levels of the new structure, with additional parking added for tenants, Zane said.

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