Affordable Housing in L.A

By Larson, Christine | Aging Today, November/December 2006 | Go to article overview

Affordable Housing in L.A


Larson, Christine, Aging Today


When Eva Plasencio moved into Angelus Plaza, she didn't realize she was moving into a whole new phase of life. For 30 years, Plasencio had worked as a hairdresser in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles. Shortly after she retired, her husband died and she was suddenly unable to afford her own home. Supported only by Social Security, she lived with one relative after another until her name came up on the waiting list for Angelus Plaza, the largest affordable senior housing development in the United States.

For Plasencio, 81, Angelus Plaza provided far more than a pleasant, affordable apartment. Once shy and retiring, she now spends her days in a flurry of activities. On a typical day, Plasencio might gather signatures for her state senator, attend a meeting of the Congress of California Seniors or serve lunch at the onsite senior nutrition program.

"I'm not the same person I was before I retired," she says. "All the activities have made me grow."

Angelus Plaza is home to some 1,300 low-income older adults like Plasencio. Most residents, who average age 78, pay about $260 to live in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, within walking distance of the new Disney Hall, the Museum of Contemporary Art and numerous other amenities. The success of "Angelus Plaza can be seen in its waiting list (some 1,700 people vie for about ioo vacancies a year), and more importantly, in the vibrant, active lives of residents. "What made Angélus Plaza a success from the beginning is the great support that the City of Los Angeles and the Community Redevelopment Agency put into it," said Laverne Joseph, president and CEO of Retirement Housing Foundation (RHF), which built and manages Angelus Plaza.

The complex, which opened in 1981 with 761 apartments, was the product of a close collaboration between city, federal and nonprofit entities. The City of Los Angeles donated the land through its Redevelopment Agency/Bunker Hill Urban Renewal Project, which also provided a $10 million loan for initial site work. The loan has since been repaid.

Furthermore, the City Housing Authority issued tax-exempt bonds to finance construction; the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provided section 8 rental subsidies; and Retirement Housing Foundation built the initial three residential towers and a five story multipurpose senior center. HUD-provided mortgage insurance and the City Housing Authority issued more tax-exempt bonds to finance an additional 332 apartments in a fourth residential tower which opened in 1982.

On the open market, an apartment like Plasencio's in the historic Bunker Hill district would cost nearly $1,000 a month. But Angelus Plaza residents-who must be at least 62 or have a disability to qualify-pay no more than 30% of their income in rent. HUD Section 8 subsidies make up the difference.

CENTERPIECE

Although the subsidies ensure decent housing for residents, it takes more than affordable apartments to foster a thriving community. "What makes Angelus Plaza a success today is its ability to serve not only residents but seniors throughout downtown," Joseph said.

The centerpiece for that service is the Angelus Plaza Senior Activity Center, which serves all older adults in the surrounding community. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Affordable Housing in L.A
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.