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FHLBank San Francisco Joins in Celebrating the Grand Opening of Abbey Apartments for the Homeless in Downtown Los Angeles

Public-Private Partnership Produced New Building Providing 113 Housing Units for the Homeless

LOS ANGELES – April 16, 2009 – The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (FHLBank San Francisco) participated today in the grand opening of the Abbey Apartments, a new building that will provide 113 housing units for low-income, homeless or disabled men and women in downtown Los Angeles. FHLBank San Francisco provided the project with $1 million in grants from its Affordable Housing Program (AHP).

FHLBank San Francisco worked with Citibank, a member of the FHLBank San Francisco, to support the Abbey Apartments project, which was developed by the Skid Row Housing Trust.

At today’s ceremony, Lawrence H. Parks, FHLBank San Francisco’s Senior Vice President for External and Legislative Affairs, cited the importance of public-private partnerships at a time the nation’s economy is struggling and funding for expanding the supply of affordable housing is drying up.

“It has become increasingly difficult for community developers to secure funding for projects like Abbey Apartments, which are badly needed in many communities,” Mr. Parks said. “FHLBank San Francisco is proud to be a resource for communities seeking to address those needs. Last year, our AHP grants contributed $79.6 million to projects that will help expand the supply of affordable housing and we are pleased that our AHP grants have contributed to this worthy development.”

Mr. Parks introduced Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA 34) at the event, which was also attended by Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and Los Angeles City Councilor Jan Perry. Since 1990, $23.6 million in FHLBank AHP grants have been awarded to 63 projects in Rep. Roybal-Allard’s district, creating 4,891 units of rental housing and 128 ownership units.

The Abbey Apartments project demolished a commercial building and constructed efficiency apartments that provide permanent supportive housing for homeless men and women. The units include full bathrooms, kitchenettes, and furnishings that provide comfortable individual living quarters. The building also has offices for case management, meeting rooms, a community room, a residential kitchen and dining area, laundry facilities, and a courtyard. Demand for units has been high; in the first week, there were more than two applicants for each available unit.

This project is an example of a successful public-private partnership. An array of federal, state, county, and city government agencies worked with private and neighborhood organizations to comprehensively address issues of chronic homelessness and reduce homelessness in their community. “This project was made possible by a variety of entities,” said Mike Alvidrez, Executive Director of the Skid Row Housing Trust. “It is a model public-private partnership. We thank the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco and all our other supporters. The Abbey Apartments will be a tremendous resource for our community.”

In addition to the FHLBank of San Francisco, others supporting and contributing to the project included the Skid Row Housing Trust, Koning Eizenberg Architecture, Westport Construction Inc./ICON Builders, Astani Enterprises Inc., City of Los Angeles Housing Department, Corporation for Supportive Housing, Enterprise Community Investment Inc., Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles, IDS Real Estate,  Low Income Investment Fund, State of California Housing and Community Development Department, Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Homeless and Housing Program Fund, Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Behavioral Health Services, JWCH Institute Inc., and Citibank.

“This collaboration is the type of effort that will be increasingly needed to expand affordable housing in our region and across the country,” Mr. Parks said. “The Abbey Apartments project gathered resources and support from every level of government and numerous community and private entities. FHLBank San Francisco is proud to be a part of this wonderful project that will enhance the community with a beautiful new building and help reduce homelessness.”    

Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco

The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco delivers low-cost funding and other services that help member financial institutions make home mortgage loans to people of all income levels and provide credit that supports neighborhoods and communities. The Bank also funds community investment programs that help members create affordable housing and promote community economic development. The Bank’s members—its shareholders and customers—are commercial banks, credit unions, savings institutions, thrift and loans, and insurance companies headquartered in Arizona, California and Nevada.

For more information:

Kevin Blackburn, 510.377.8999