What Affordable Housing Means to Me…


Mission: Founded in 1985, American Family Housing (AFH) is a nonprofit organization that provides a continuum of housing and a broad spectrum of services to vulnerable populations facing barriers to achieving housing stability, including veterans and adults with disabilities and mental illness. AFH operates 63 housing sites with 283 apartments that serve more than 1,300 adults and children each year in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties. AFH is committed to permanently ending the cycle of homelessness by helping low income families and adults achieve a self-sustaining way of life and become active members of their communities.

Story: Orange County and Los Angeles have made great strides toward providing permanent housing for the homeless, yet Southern California is seeing an increase in homelessness, particularly among veterans. With some 1.4 million individuals at risk, AFH broke ground in 2016 on a first-of-its kind multifamily housing project called Potter’s Lane located in Midway City, California. With a targeted February 2017 completion date, the ultra-green, energy-efficient and sustainable housing site will fulfill one of the community’s greatest needs: permanent housing for chronically homeless veterans. Built using GrowthPoint Structures, whose innovative construction methods will up cycle steel shipping containers to create 16 beautiful 480-square-foot living spaces designed to complement the surrounding environment. AFH employed many people throughout the process, including over 120 local construction workers and over 250 volunteers. Designed with community input, Potter’s Lane will include a community room, fitness court and landscaped gardens. In addition to housing, AFH is also providing wrap-around services to help these veterans achieve stability and self-sufficiency. HUD provided AFH with operational assistance including Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers for eight of the 16 apartments. AFH is also master leasing seven apartments to the Illumination Foundation for its HUD Continuum of Care (CoC) Bonus Project, which provides HUD dollars for services and rental assistance.

City: Midway City
Congressional District: CA-48
Use of Funds: Rental assistance
Federal Program: Coc: $117,600, VASH:$120,672/year
Total Federal Dollars: $238,272
Affordable homes created or preserved: 16

Contact: Donna Gallup
P: 714-897-3221
E: dgallup@afhusa.org
W: afhusa.org

What Affordable Housing Means to Me…



Mission: As the leading advocate for eliminating domestic violence in northern Illinois, A Safe Place provides a 24-hour crisis line, case management, legal advocacy (including orders of protection), emergency shelter, individual, family, art and group therapy, transitional and permanent housing, advocacy, education, outreach and supportive services to survivors of domestic violence and their children, a mentoring program for adolescent boys, supervised custody exchanges, supervised family visitations, education for teens on healthy relationships, community education and intervention services for abusers to learn accountability for their choices and actions. A Safe Place is a 501(c)(3) organization that receives HUD Emergency Shelter Grant program (ESG) funding for our emergency shelter. This 35-bed shelter houses women and children who are fleeing domestic violence for up to 90 days.


Story: A mother with three children had experienced years of abuse from her partner. The abusive partner threatened to kill the mother and her three children, resulting in the mother fleeing in her car with her children. This mother and her children had no other option but to sleep in the car, and also sometimes in an outdoor field. The mother shared with A Safe Place that some nights she would stay up all night just watching over the children to ensure that the abusive partner hadn’t found them. When the mother was connected with A Safe Place and first arrived at its emergency shelter, she told the staff how grateful she was for A Safe Place because she was finally able to sleep without fear. In addition to providing emergency shelter to the family in imminent danger from their abuser, shelter staff provided basic needs for the family and worked with the mother to stabilize the crisis, attain safe and permanent housing, and work toward self-sufficiency. Through the assistance they received, after nearly 60 days in an emergency shelter, the mother and her three children were able to leave the shelter and move into their own apartment. So many families like this one need assistance getting back on their feet after trauma occurs. Federal programs that create affordable housing and end homelessness benefit individuals and communities and are a good investment in our country’s infrastructure. Without continued funding, families like this would most likely be homeless, with children not regularly attending school, and unable to work and contribute to the economy. HUD funding is changing lives and working to end homelessness.

Opportunities Created: 
City: Lake County, Illinois
Congressional District: IL-10
Use of Funds: Emergency Shelter
Federal Program: ESG: $33,647
Total Federal Dollars: $33,647

Laura Ramirez
P: 847-731-7165
E: Lramirez@asafeplaceforhelp.org
W: asafeplaceforhelp.org


Read more affordable housing success stories at: http://nlihc.org/partners/chcdf

What Affordable Housing Means to Me…


Mission: Cook Inlet Housing Authority (CIHA) is one of 14 regional housing authorities established in the 1970s to address poor housing conditions throughout Alaska. Its service area includes the state’s largest urban center, Anchorage, small towns, and remote Alaska Native villages accessible only by sea and air. CIHA is a Tribally Designated Housing Entity that leverages Native and non-Native federal housing resources to serve all eligible Alaskans. It has become one of Alaska’s largest housing developers and managers, with a rental portfolio of more than 1,400 homes. CIHA’s developments have been recognized nationally by the National Association of Home Builders, the Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Awards, HUD, and the American Planning Association.

Story: Because of complex market conditions, mixed-income housing developments are uncommon in Anchorage. Because of the availability of Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), Indian Housing Block Grant program (IHBG) funding, and other private and state resources, CIHA was able to develop Loussac Place, a mixed-income community, despite the market barriers. Loussac Place is home to an incredibly diverse community. Its first residents include a recent widow with five young children, a retired senior couple on a fixed-income, a pharmaceutical marketing professional with a college degree, a single father employed as a traveling sales representative, and a recently homeless veteran. Loussac Place includes a community building, where residents have access to a library and a computer lab. A gathering room provides space for financial fitness classes, job and education fairs, and cultural celebrations. CampFire Alaska provides onsite afterschool programming for families living at Loussac Place, allowing them to work or to pursue education or job training. After five years, Loussac Place is enabling families to stabilize and thrive. The Lupie family lives at Loussac Place and proudly reports that for the first time in their lives, their Alaska Native children do not feel subjected to racial discrimination in their own community.

loussac_photo_4Through a partnership with CampFire Alaska, several Loussac Place families received scholarships to send their children to an overnight summer camp, where the kids experienced many “firsts”—including their first canoe ride, first hike, and first time away from home. A parent told us, “I can’t afford to take my kids to something like this. Thank you for bringing CampFire here.” One child who attended the camp shared, “I never knew how to follow the Big Dipper to the North Star. I’m going to look for it at night.”

Opportunities Created
City: Anchorage

Congressional District: AK-AL

Use of Funds: New construction

Federal Programs:
Indian Housing Block Grant: $4.17 million
LIHTC: $20.65 million

Total Federal Dollars:
$24.82 million

Other Financing: 
$12 million

Total Project Cost:
$36.82 million

Affordable homes created or preserved:

Gabriel Layman
P: 907-793-3004
E: glayman@cookinlethousing.org
W: cookinlethousing.org 

To view other affordable housing success stories, go to: http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/A-Place-To-Call-Home_Profiles.pdf

What Affordable Housing Means to Me…

Affordable Housing Success Story: Florida

Ability Housing 

Mission: Ability Housing’s mission is to build strong communities where everyone has a home. To fulfill this mission, we develop and operate quality rental housing affordable to people with extremely limited incomes, focusing on the needs of people experiencing or at risk of homelessness and adults with disabilities. Ability Housing partners with area service organizations so our residents have the supports they require to ensure housing stability and increase their independent living skills. In 2015, Ability Housing’s housing stability rate was 95.5% across its affordable developments. This exceeds the HUD Continuum of Care performance benchmark (80%) for permanent supportive housing.

Story: Consuello lost her housing in 2012 due to several setbacks caused by her anxiety and depression. After weeks in transitory motels and shelters, she lost custody of her daughter. Michael was forced to leave his grandmother’s home due to family conflict. When he and Consuello met, an immediate bond of faith and love was formed between them. But they could not find housing as they were unable to find work and were forced to live outside of an abandoned warehouse. Jacksonville, like many communities, has a crisis with affordable housing with more than half of the city’s renters being cost-burdened and 337 people identified as chronically homeless. When they met Joe Johnson, the program manager at Ability Housing, Consuello and Michael said that their prayers had been answered. The Village on Wiley was developed specifically to provide 43 units of permanent supportive housing for the community’s highest users of crisis services. The couple moved into their new home at this beautiful complex in 2015. With the support resources provided by HUD Continuum of Care program (CoC) funds, they found the capacity to rebuild their lives and married in early 2016. Consuello and Michael are now receiving benefits that have further stabilized their income and Consuello is now supplementing their income with work at McDonald’s, having gotten her license and a car to help her get to work. They have moved into a two-bedroom apartment at Ability Housing’s Mayfair Village so they can have their children back in their lives. Education seemed like an unattainable dream when Consuello and Michael were experiencing homelessness, yet they are planning to attend Edward Waters College to study music, with the goal of teaching children. With the support of Ability Housing, their future is as bright as their smiles.



Tanya Adams; 904-359-9650; tadams@abilityhousing.org


Organization Information:

City: Jacksonville

Congressional District: FL-4

Use of Funds: Rental Assistance

Federal Programs: CoC: $925,414

Total Federal Dollars: $925,414

Success stories from the A Place to Call Home report are available at: http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/A-Place-To-Call-Home_Profiles.pdf 

What Affordable Housing Means to Me…

Affordable Housing Success Story: California
West Hollywood Community Housing Corp. 

Mission: West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation (WHCHC) develops safe, decent and affordable housing for people with limited incomes, including those with special needs, enhancing the community and supporting economic diversity. We envision sustainable communities of healthy, diverse neighborhoods within the greater Los Angeles, California area. Our residents include people with disabilities, seniors, people with HIV/AIDS, transition-age youth, families, and people who have formerly been homeless. As of December 2016, WHCHC houses 813 residents, 60% of whom are 55 years old or older. Most WHCHC affordable projects include HUD HOME Investment Partnerships program (HOME) funds from the County of Los Angeles Community Development Commission and the City of Glendale, as well as HUD project-based vouchers (PBVs) from both the County and City of Los Angeles housing authorities. WHCHC also relies on the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program (LIHTC) in developing its projects.

Story: After almost 10 years of homelessness, Stephen was selected from a lottery in 2009 for an apartment at Sierra Bonita Apartments in West Hollywood, California. It changed his life.

stephen_sadler_photo_2_whchcStephen, a paraplegic from back injuries, was awarded a Shelter Plus Care (S+C) voucher, but he was unable to find an apartment that would accept his voucher. In fact, because of the housing shortage in West Hollywood and Los Angeles, Stephen’s voucher expired twice while he was trying to find an apartment. Ultimately, Stephen found WHCHC, the only landlord in West Hollywood accepting new residents with vouchers.

Sierra Bonita Apartments is a 42-unit new construction project for people with disabilities, located in a low-income neighborhood where much of the housing stock is aging and deteriorating. The project was awarded $3 million in HUD HOME funds in 2008, and it received 32 HUD project-based vouchers in 2011. The development created approximately 45 construction jobs and two permanent jobs. The WHCHC Resident Services department provides Sierra Bonita tenants with educational and economic opportunities, and staff help to promote housing retention and positive health outcomes.

While living at Sierra Bonita, Stephen keeps fit by working out and surfing with his friends at “Life Rolls On.” WHCHC’s Resident Services staff provide services as needed, but Stephen is becoming less reliant on supportive services in his daily life.

Robin Conerly; 323-650-8771; robin@whchc.org

Organization Information:
City: West Hollywood
Congressional District: CA-28
Use of Funds: New construction, rental assistance
Federal Programs: HOME: $3 million PBV: $164,448/year LIHTC: $7.09 million
Total Federal Dollars:
Development: $10.90 million
Rental Assistance/ Services: $164,448/year
Other Financing: $3.79 million
Total Project Cost: $18.77 million
Affordable homes created or preserved: 42

Success stories from the A Place to Call Home report are available at: http://nlihc.org/sites/default/files/A-Place-To-Call-Home_Profiles.pdf