A 24-unit apartment complex designed to accommodate disabled residents is being developed in Signal Hill by the Crippled Children's Society.
The organization's Los Angeles chapter has built four apartment houses for disabled people since 1982 and is developing four more, including the $2.6-million Signal Hill complex.
"There's a huge demand for these apartments everywhere, and those of us who are building them can't build them fast enough," said Roy Cain, the society's director of residential services.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has tentatively approved a $1.8-million grant to help pay for the Signal Hill apartments. Cain said he hopes HUD or the city's redevelopment agency will provide the rest.
The redevelopment agency already has put up about $500,000 to buy a 1.3-acre parcel at the corner of Gaviota and Alamitos avenues for the one- and two-bedroom apartments. In addition, it agreed last week to lend the society up to $125,000 for designs and other pre-construction costs that must be paid before it receives the HUD grant.
About half of the apartments will be designed for wheelchair users. All tables, countertops, cabinets and light switches will be lower than in regular apartments. Halls will be wider than usual and bathrooms will be large enough for wheelchairs to move around.
Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring, and the apartments could be finished by the end of 1995, Cain said.