Preserving Small-Scale Affordable Housing

Genesis LA has closed loans to two nonprofit organizations helping to address small-scale housing affordability.  First, our $525,000 loan to Community Mosaic is part of our new lending program to finance naturally occurring affordable housing in small multifamily properties.  Our loan financed acquisition and rehabilitation of a 5-unit property in South Los Angeles, with the ultimate goal of converting the property into a limited equity housing cooperative.  The co-op model allows the residents to own shares in the property and limits the resale value of the shares, thus ensuring housing affordability for future owners.  Community Mosaic-formally a partnership between TRUST South LA and Restore Neighborhoods LA-will build the capacity of residents to serve on the board of the co-op by providing financial literacy services, savings programs and leadership development activities.  

A second $500,000 loan to the Beverly-Vermont Community Land Trust (BVCLT) allowed BVCLT to acquire and convert a 4-unit rental property into affordable condominiums in Koreatown. These condominiums will be available for purchase by income-qualified families, including current tenants of the rental property.  BVCLT will retain ownership of the land underneath the building, which will allow the land trust to require ongoing affordability restrictions on the condo units and ensure housing affordability for current and future residents.

Learn More about BVCLT and the Community Land Trust Model
Watts Learning Center Expansion
New facilities will enable WLC to increase their enrollment capacity.
In 1997, Watts Learning Center (WLC) opened in a bungalow located on the grounds of a low-income housing project, and initially served only a handful of pre-school students.  Today, WLC serves the Watts community by operating an elementary and middle school for over 1,000 students combined.  With persevrance, WLC has gradually grown, and overcome several obstacles including multiple relocations, inadequate facilities, and gang activity in the neighborhood.  Genesis LA provided $1.7 million in construction financing for WLC to construct a new two-story 11,400 s.f. building that will feature additional classrooms and new administrative offices.  Additional improvements include an outdoor covered lunch area, larger outdoor activity space, a new parking lot with safety lanes for student pickup/drop-off, and the renovation of a historic church hall into a multi-purpose room.  The project is expected to be completed in summer 2017.

Learn More About the Watts Learning Center
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Spotlight Series:
City Labs Boyle Heights

Our  Spotlight Series  features Alfred Fraijo, a land use attorney at Sheppard Mullin, who shares his insight into the challenges and opportunities of community development projects in LA. Using his City Labs Boyle Heights project as an example, Mr. Fraijo shares how the renovation of commercial property can be tailored to address local neighborhood needs without gentrifying or displacing local residents, thereby creating a community asset. City Labs offers workspace for purpose-driven tenants that include Leadership for Urban Renewal Network (LURN), Mi Centro, and local artisans. These organizations are improving the quality of life in East LA by facilitating local business growth and providing resources/services for local residents, including LGBTQ youth. Genesis LA provided financing for City Labs in 2014.
Genesis LA Awarded $3 million from the CDFI Fund

This fall, Genesis LA (GLA) was awarded two $1.5 million dollar grants from the CDFI Fund's Capital Magnet Fund (CMF) and CDFI Financial Assistance (FA) Awards programs. These awards will support GLA's track record of delivering creative and flexible financing for housing, community facilities, and economic development projects throughout Los Angeles County. Since 2011, GLA has been awarded over $8 million in CDFI Fund loans and grants, which has leveraged additional funds to finance projects.
Our CMF award will be principally used to finance the  development and rehabilitation of rental housing, with a particular emphasis on preserving naturally occurring affordable housing located in small multifamily buildings.  These projects generally do not qualify for tax credits and other public financing sources, yet they present an opportunity to stabilize communities and preserve affordability as neighborhoods change and rents rise.  We intend to use our CMF award to help finance these types of projects.  GLA was one of 32 CMF awardees nationally, and the only Los Angeles-based CDFI to receive an award in the current funding round.
GLA Awarded $45 million in New Markets Tax Credits

Genesis LA was awarded $45 million in New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation!  This is great news for Genesis LA and the communities we serve.  This $45 million allocation is Genesis LA's sixth award to date and brings our total allocation received to $265 million.  We look forward to the great impact we will make in 2017 with this NMTC allocation!

Learn How New Markets Tax Credits Work
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