New Affordable Housing for Seniors Breaks Ground

The gifting of Grace Lutheran Church and its land to the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara gives new life to low-income housing for seniors

thumbnail_Grace Village Ground Breaking

Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara (HACSB), community leaders and project leaders and guests celebrate new affordable housing for low income seniors at the Grace Village groundbreaking on Jan. 5. (left to right) Skip Szymanski, Deputy Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer, HACSB; Pat Wheatley, member of former congregation; Lois Capps, member of former congregation; Geoff Green, HACSB Board Commissioner; Barbara Allen, HACSB Board Commissioner; Santa Barbara City Councilmember Jason Dominguez; Santa Barbara City Councilmember Randy Rowse; Mayor Helene Schneider; Santa Barbara City Councilmember Gregg Hart; Santa Barbara City Councilmember Cathy Murillo; Matt LaBrie, Garden Court, Inc. Board Member; David Hughes, HACSB Board Chair; Johanna Gullick, MUFG Union Bank, N.A.; Jessica Mackenzie, MUFG Union Bank, N..A; Santa Barbara County Supervisor Janet Wolf; Rob Fredericks, Executive Director/CEO, HACSB.


Santa Barbara, Calif., Jan. 11, 2017—After 113 years in the Santa Barbara community, Grace Lutheran Church began a new chapter on Jan. 5 with a groundbreaking to celebrate the start of construction ofGrace Village, a new housing community for low-income seniors.


Held at the Grace Village construction site (in the parking lot of Grace Lutheran Church) at 3869 State St., ceremony speakers included Mayor Helene Schneider, Rob Fredericks, Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara Executive Director/CEO, and Pat Wheatley, member of the former Grace Lutheran Church congregation. Special guests and attendees included Lois Capps and other members of the former Grace Lutheran Church congregation, Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara staff and board of commissioners, representatives from project development partners and elected officials.


“Many seniors in our community are particularly vulnerable in this difficult housing market, as many are living on fixed incomes and have no family to turn to,” said Rob Fredericks, Executive Director/CEO, HACSB. “Grace Village will represent a very special opportunity for some amazing people who have been struggling to make ends meet. With construction expected to be completed in December, these future residents could be enjoying their new home by the time the holidays roll around again.”


The A-frame church and land at 3869 State St. was gifted to the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara in December 2014 for co-development with Front Porch Development Company of the 58-unit affordable housing complex. The concept of Grace Village began as far back as 10 years ago as Grace Lutheran members began to explore ways to continue its strong service to the Santa Barbara community after decades of declining membership. Grace Lutheran Church held its last service on Feb. 15, 2015.


The community, designed by RRM Design Group, will feature 58 one-bedroom residences and an on-site resident manager, a community room, leasing office, maintenance area, laundry room on each floor and two elevators serving all of the floors with interior corridors and all entries ADA accessible. Financing for the project includes federal tax credits through the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee program, with MUFG Union Bank, N.A., as the construction lender and equity investor, California Community Reinvestment Corp. as the permanent lender, and residual receipt loans from the City of Santa Barbara and Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara. Grace Village Apartments, L.P., is carrying out operations for the development and the Housing Authority is acting as the administrative agent for the partnership.


About California Lutheran Homes

Californian Lutheran Homes and Community Services (CLH) is an independent, not-for-profit social ministry organization. Our Lutheran roots go back to 1947, and our mission is to put faith into action by providing a wide array of services to people in need.  Front Porch Communities and Services is an affiliate non-profit of CLH.


About Grace Lutheran Church

Founded in 1903, Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church of Santa Barbara, California has served as a worshiping community for over a century.  Throughout the years Grace has had a long history of serving peoples in need throughout our community.  The church community is now moving on to a Legacy of New Service in providing the gifts of the land that God has granted us to providing housing for low income seniors. Additionally, ongoing funding will support services for housing for families, senior services and food distribution in our community, and support for Lutheran World Missions.


About the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara

The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara is a local public agency created for the purpose of providing safe, decent, and quality affordable housing and supportive services to eligible persons with limited incomes, through a variety of federal, state, local and private resources. Since 1969, the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara has developed and/or secured over 3,600 units (about 1,200 owned or managed and 2,400 of Section 8 subsidy) of affordable rental housing for Santa Barbara through a variety of federal, state, local and private funding sources. Please visit the website


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