For Immediate Release
May 26, 2021
La Placita Cinco and Casa Querencia together provide 106 affordable units for chronically homeless and low-income Santa Ana families
Santa Ana, CA (May 26, 2021) — Community Development Partners (CDP), Mercy House and the City of Santa Ana announced today the completion of La Placita Cinco and Casa Querencia, two new affordable apartment communities in Santa Ana. With $6 million in funding and 56 Section 8 project-based vouchers provided by the City of Santa Ana, the projects provide a total of 106 affordable units to chronically homeless and low-income families in the area.
La Placita Cinco and Casa Querencia build upon CDP, Mercy House and the City of Santa Ana’s efforts to reduce homelessness in Santa Ana and provide high quality, affordable housing with the services needed to help residents seek more stability and wellness in their lives. Mercy House is the lead services provider at both buildings, providing organized social, recreational and enrichment activities for residents, in addition to wraparound case management and other supportive services.
“Casa Querencia and La Placita Cinco are an integral part of the City’s ongoing strategy to end homelessness in our community by providing not only shelters, but also permanent housing and supportive services,” Santa Ana Mayor Vicente Sarmiento said. “The City has assisted over 430 homeless individuals receive permanent supportive housing over the past five years, has 191 new supportive housing units in the pipeline, and expects to issue 471 housing vouchers by the end of 2021.”
“CDP is extremely proud to see these projects come to fruition,” said Kyle Paine, President of Community Development Partners. “We want to thank the City of Santa Ana, Mercy House and all of our partners for their efforts on these developments, and most importantly, we want to welcome our new residents. Handing keys to a resident for their new home is one of the most fulfilling parts of our job and why we are so committed to this work.”
Mercy House CEO, Larry Haynes shared, “We all know the best answer to addressing homelessness and so much economic insecurity is dignified permanent housing. Mercy House is honored to once again partner with CDP and the City of Santa Ana on this issue. There is so much more to do! What’s next?!”
About Casa Querencia
Casa Querencia, previously known as The Aqua, is located at 317 E. 17th St. and provides 56 studio and one-bedroom Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) units for chronically homeless individuals and those experiencing severe mental illness. The project was made possible through an investment of 56 Section 8 project-based vouchers from the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Ana. The project is CDP’s second PSH development in Santa Ana, building on the success of The Orchard, which opened in 2017 and includes 71 PSH units following an investment of $1.2 million and 71 Section 8 project-based vouchers from the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Ana.
Casa Querencia includes offices for the on-site management and resident services teams and a variety of shared spaces for residents. Resident amenities include a fitness room, resident lounge and shared kitchen, computer room and several outdoor decks. A large lawn for outdoor activities and leisure includes a BBQ, picnic area and garden beds. Casa Querencia is also located near over two dozen public, social and health service providers.
The name Casa Querencia is derived from the Spanish metaphysical concept “Querencia,” meaning “a place where one feels safe; a place from which one’s strength of character is drawn; a place where one feels at home.” In bullfighting, the querencia is also the area in the arena where the bull feels strong and safe. A large-scale mural of a bull by Santa Ana artists Brian Peterson and Damin Lujan of Faces of Santa Ana is located in the lobby and serves as a reminder for residents that they are at home.
Comprehensive, on-site case management services are provided by Mercy House and the Orange County Health Care Agency. Community Development Partners co-developed the property with Magis Realty in partnership with Mercy House. Concept design for the project was completed by CityFabrick, design by Architecture Design Collaborative, management by Solari Enterprises, and construction by Walton Construction services. Exterior murals were completed by artists Brian Peterson and Damin Lujan of Faces of Santa Ana.
The project is supported by a Section 8 HAP contract for 56 project-based vouchers administered through the City of Santa Ana Housing Authority. Additional funding is provided by County of Orange’s Special Needs Housing Program (SNHP), a State of California Department of Housing and Community Development funded Infill Infrastructure Grant, an AHP award from Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, along with 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits and Tax-Exempt bonds.
Casa Querencia was completed December 31, 2020 and is currently 100% leased and occupied. Residents are referred to the property by Orange County’s Coordinated Entry System (CES) with a preference for chronically homeless individuals who live or work in the City of Santa Ana. A grand opening celebration is planned to take place this summer.
About La Placita Cinco
La Placita Cinco, previously known as Tiny Tim Plaza, is located at 2239 W. 5th St. on the corner of 5th and Hawley streets, and provides 50 units of affordable housing for Santa Ana families. The community features two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments that are available exclusively to households earning 30-60% of the area median income. The project was made possible through an investment of $6 million from the City of Santa Ana.
The development of La Placita Cinco also included the revitalization of the existing retail plaza, which now features new landscaping, drive aisles, parking and a new mini-park and band shell, designed to emulate the former 1950’s architecture found onsite. The plaza is comprised of 14 retailers offering a variety of quality goods and services.
La Placita Cinco includes offices for the on-site management and resident services teams, structured and secure parking and a variety of shared spaces for residents. Resident amenities include a large community room, computer lab, resident lounge and a private outdoor terrace with a barbecue area and playground. Additionally, La Placita Cinco is located along Orange County Transportation Authority’s (OCTA) future OC Streetcar line and once operating in 2022, will be less than a 10-minute walk from the nearest stop. The project earned LEED certification and recently received an Honorable Mention by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) for a 2021 Sustainability Award in the Housing Innovation category.
Community Development Partners co-developed the property in partnership with Mercy House, who also provides comprehensive resident services. Santa Ana Endurance Academy (SAEA) is also onsite providing fitness classes and training for residents. Concept design for the project was completed by CityFabrick, design by TCA Architects, management by Solari Enterprises and construction by Walton Construction Services. Exterior murals were completed by Santa Ana artists Brian Peterson and Damin Lujan of Faces of Santa Ana.
The project is supported by $6 million in funding through the City of Santa Ana’s Low- and Moderate-Income Housing Asset Fund (LMIHAF) and Inclusionary Housing Fund. Additional funding included 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits, long term debt from Freddie Mac, construction financing from Citibank, and Tax Credit equity from R4 Capital. The retail revitalization was made possible in part through a grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation.
La Placita Cinco was completed January 29, 2021 and is nearly fully leased with a select number of three-bedroom apartments available and reserved for households earning a combined 60% of the area median income with a preference for individuals who live or work in the City of Santa Ana. To learn more about the qualifications or to apply, please call or text the leasing team at 714-706-1782. Office drop-ins are also welcome. The leasing office is located onsite at 2239 W. 5th St. For additional information, please visit https://laplacitacinco.weblisters.com/. A grand opening celebration is planned to take place this summer.
About Community Development Partners
Founded in 2011, Community Development Partners develops and operates sustainable, life-enhancing affordable housing with a focus on long term community engagement and innovative design. The company’s mission is to repair and strengthen the fabric of cities and towns by meeting the housing needs of local citizens through the thoughtful planning and creative development of sustainable, affordable communities. The company has offices in Newport Beach, California and Portland, Oregon and has developed and currently operates properties in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Oregon. For more information, please visit: https://communitydevpartners.com.
About Mercy House Living Centers
Mercy House was founded by Father Jerome T. Karcher with a vison to serve the local homeless and at-risk communities. Since beginning services in 1990, Mercy House has grown from a single transitional housing program to a complete system of care designed to span the spectrum of services. These range from outreach and homeless prevention programs to emergency shelters and permanent housing which incorporates both Housing First projects serving chronically homeless populations and affordable housing serving very low to low-income populations. On an annual basis, Mercy House programs and services touch the lives of over 7,000 adults and children across Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, and Kern Counties in California as well as Maricopa County, Arizona. Our growth over our 30-year tenure has been tied to clarity of vision and purpose, always bearing in mind our ultimate goal: to end the homelessness of all who enter our unique system of care. To learn more about Mercy House, please visit: https://www.mercyhouse.net/
About the City of Santa Ana
Santa Ana is downtown for the world famous Orange County, California. It is the County Seat, the second-most populous city in Orange County, and is home to a vibrant evening scene and arts community. About three-quarters of the City’s residents are Latino. Over 1,200 City employees work hard every day to deliver efficient public services in partnership with our community to ensure public safety, a prosperous economic environment, opportunities for our youth, and a high quality of life for residents. Learn more at www.santa-ana.org.
Community Development Partners
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City of Santa Ana, City Manager’s Office
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