[IMGCAP(1)]ANAHEIM, CA-Two affordable housing projects, including one newly opened here by Jamboree Housing Corp. and one planned in Echo Park by Foursquare Foundation, will add 115 new units to the region’s stock. The Anaheim project is a 25-unit development by Jamboree and its partners that provides both housing and mental health supportive services for previously homeless individuals and their families in Orange County; the Echo Park project is planned for 90 affordable senior apartments.

The Anaheim project is at 1310 W. Diamond St. and is called Diamond Apartment Homes. It was designed by KTGY Group Inc. Architecture and Planning, which also designed the Echo Park development.

KTGY’s David Obitz, principal and designer, calls the Diamond project a “pioneering” development and notes that it is part of the City of Anaheim’s commitment to expand the development of affordable housing to more than 1,400 units in five years. Jamboree’s partners in the project include an organization called Homes Inc., an acronym for Helping Our Mentally Ill Experience Success. The developers built the project in conjunction with the City of Anaheim, the Anaheim Housing Authority, and the Anaheim Redevelopment Agency.

[IMGCAP(2)]Obitz points out that, for residents with persistent mental illness, permanent housing is critical to providing stability and ongoing mental health services. Often, rental housing that serves the chronically homeless and/or those with mental illness is designed for individuals and is predominately studio and one-bedroom units. Diamond takes a different approach by providing housing that allows families to remain together.

Diamond is home to 25 families who earn between $19,530 and $30,120 (30% of the area median income) in a combination of 15 one-bedroom and 10 two-bedroom units housed in a three-story building with elevator service and on-site parking. Rent is $523 to $627 per month, based on family size and income level. The project is a GreenPoint Rated development, so named for a program of Build It Green, a professional non-profit membership organization that promotes energy- and resource-efficient buildings in California.

The Echo Park project, across the street from Echo Park, is a 1.24-acre infill redevelopment designed to replace older housing units with 90 affordable senior apartments. Floor plans range in size from a studio of 360 square feet to one-bedrooms of 530 square feet and two-bedrooms of 795 square feet. KTGY principal Manny Gonzalez notes that on-site amenities will include a pool, a fitness center, a hobby and craft room, a kitchen, a 2,230-square-foot solarium and lounging areas.

The project site lies adjacent to the landmark 85-year-old Angelus Temple, which is home to the group that is developing the new complex. The proposed redevelopment includes a 3,000-square-foot multi-purpose room that is designed to serve as a chapel for the community and surrounding neighborhood, and to provide housing for members of the church.

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