Following several years of advocacy and the historic overhaul of HUD’s RAD for PRAC (Rental Assistance Demonstration for Project Rental Assistance Contracts) program, Beacon is happy to announce the completed redevelopments of one of the first RAD for PRAC (LIHTC) funded projects in the nation. Canterbury Village and The Gardens which provide 64 and 75 units respectively, have both reached construction completion! Canterbury Village in Santa Clarita, CA completed construction in June 2023 after a 13-month rehab. Meanwhile, The Gardens in Glendale, CA finished rehabilitation a few months later in August 2023 after 14-months.
Both projects included renovations of their property management offices, laundry rooms, libraries and community rooms. The building’s plumbing, HVAC, and electrical systems were completely overhauled. New mailbox locations and elevator shafts work has been completed as well. On the exterior; window framing, paint, egress and parking pavement have been updated. Residents enjoy remodeled kitchens, new bathroom, flooring, and windows.
These 139 units, which have provided housing to low-income seniors for over 30 years, will now be able to continue to serve the community for the next 30 years.
In the South Bay Area of Northern California, Morgan Hill Senior Housing, the partnership community between HumanGood Affordable Housing and Sunnyvale Life, Inc. has reached its 50% construction completion milestone. This 3-story apartment’s new construction consists of 82 large one-bedroom units which will be serving low-income seniors 62+ and adults with disabilities.
On the building’s interior, the rough mechanical, electrical and plumbing are being completed along with the roofing and window installation. In the coming months, the building exterior stucco and paint, outdoor, drought tolerant landscaping, and a covered walkway to the drop-off area and resident parking lot will be completed. Solar stanchions have been installed throughout the entire roof top to accommodate for the photovoltaic solar panels to power this fully electric building. Interior features include a welcoming lobby, manager and service coordinator offices, community room, secured laundry room, fitness center and lounge on the 3rd floor with roof deck open space.
This is the second affordable housing partnership project between HumanGood Affordable Housing and Sunnyvale Life, Inc. with their first being a rehabilitation of Life’s Garden community in Sunnyvale, CA back in 2016. Construction completion of Morgan Hill Senior Housing is scheduled for summer 2024.
In October 2023, Beacon Development Group celebrated its 25th anniversary. Since its inception in 1998, Beacon Development Group has steadfastly sought to improve the lives of families and households facing housing insecurity across Washington and beyond. The numbers tell part of the story: Beacon has contributed to the creation of nearly 7,000 units of affordable housing, owned by 44 diverse clients, across 102 projects, and with a combined value of nearly $1.5 billion. But the numbers are only a small part of the story. The happy faces of kids, parents and older adults at grand openings; the positive impact on communities and neighborhoods; the proud speeches of clients and dignitaries at ribbon-cuttings; and the sweat and passion of Beacon’s exemplary team and partners – all these images, memories, and anecdotes are what make 25 years of Beacon a celebratory moment.
Beacon started with the vision of its founder, Paul Purcell. Paul saw the desperate need for affordable housing in our communities, and knew firsthand, the challenges and complexities of creating housing through the archaic funding programs available, namely HUD and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit. With the blessing of his former employer, Catholic Community Services of Western Washington, Paul and a handful of employees began to provide development expertise to not just one organization, but to multiple organizations across the state. After 25 years, more than 60 current or former team members, three office locations, and many a stressful closing, Beacon stands as a leader in the affordable housing industry in Washington State and across the west coast.
Beacon Development Group offers a comprehensive suite of services, including development consulting, construction management, and asset refinance and repositioning. These services guide clients through the entire life cycle of their affordable housing projects and assist them in managing their portfolios. Beacon’s remarkable impact extends to affordable housing projects spanning Washington, California, and Oregon. The core of Beacon’s history is rooted in its consulting service to third-party clients, both non-profits and housing authorities. Beacon continues to uphold that mission by serving both established housing entities as well as a growing array of new community based and BIPOC organizations that are seeking to add housing services to their community programs.
Beacon Development Group has garnered significant recognition for its exceptional contributions to the affordable housing development industry. Some of the notable awards and accolades include:
LifeWire Community Partner of the Year, 2023
Impact Capital Community Partner of the Year, 2016
Washington State Housing Finance Commission Friend of Housing, 2014
Seattle Business Magazine’s 100 Best Businesses to Work For: Top 10 Small Firms, 2014
Affordable Housing Finance Magazine’s Top 50 Affordable Housing Developers, 2007
Construction Management Director Jason Manges reflects on his experience with Beacon, stating, “Beacon has been realistic about my needs, time, salary, benefits, compensation, etc. My kids have grown up while I’ve been at Beacon. My second child was born 2 years into my stay. She’s 12 now. I’ve had the flexibility to raise a family in a way I wanted to here.”
The overarching mission of providing affordable housing to low-income families and seniors serves as a powerful motivator for Beacon Development Group’s team.They are dedicated to overcoming numerous challenges to ensure minimal disruption to residents during construction and the successful, timely completion of affordable housing projects. California Construction Management Director George Sousou recalls, “We pushed for a permit to take the powerlines down for one day to crane our stuff over it. We paid PG&E $18,000 to come out to shut the power off for one day. We provided generators for every business and residence on the block, and even convinced the Wells Fargo across the street to close for the day.”
When COVID-19 necessitated lockdowns across the country, Beacon faced unique challenges, including a California rehabilitation project that required families to relocate from their current housing to temporary accommodations. Beacon carefully coordinated with movers, relocating families one unit at a time to mitigate potential exposures. This process, while time-consuming, was essential for resident safety.
The testimonials from HumanGood residents reveal the profound impact of Beacon’s work in creating vibrant and welcoming communities. Residents express their gratitude for the enhancements made to their living spaces and the attention to detail in design and functionality.
“I cried when I was accepted to move into my new housing. How was I worthy of living in such a grand place? They took me and my dog. My dog was important. He depended on me and I depended on him. Now we both have a warm bed and lots of new friends. I am happy to be so lucky to live out my final days here. Thank you.” – HumanGood resident
Such heartwarming stories motivate Beacon’s team to consistently go above and beyond. Their mission extends beyond mere affordable housing development; it’s about providing individuals with housing opportunities, second chances, and the promise of peaceful retirements. As California Construction Management Director George Sousou aptly puts it, “We’re not just building a project for someone and moving on; we’re making an impact.”
As Beacon Development Group embarks on the next phase of its journey, it anticipates challenges and opportunities in the affordable housing sector. One of the pressing issues is the complexity of funding sources, with numerous government programs, lenders, banks, and sponsors involved in affordable housing development. These requirements and regulations, along with land cost increases, and the inflation in labor and materials, have led to soaring project costs. Beacon’s Project and Construction Managers aspire to collaborate with lawmakers to identify strategies for reducing the costs of affordable housing projects, protecting taxpayer dollars, and enabling more projects within the limitations of available funding.
Moreover, the affordable housing sector, like the broader housing industry, confronts a labor shortage. The intricacies of affordable housing deals require highly skilled and well-trained employees. Beacon also strives to have a team that reflects the diversity in the communities in which we serve. For these reasons, Beacon has undertaken multiple organizational efforts designed to recruit, train, and mentor people who are new to the affordable housing field and can help achieve the overall goals of the industry.
Reflecting on the past 25 years, Beacon Development Group acknowledges that it has weathered various trials, from the 2008 recession to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In times of adversity, Beacon has demonstrated resilience and adaptability. But out of adversity, comes a deeper commitment and ability to bring affordable housing to those in need.
Members of Ethiopian Community in Seattle, Beacon Development Group, and HumanGood Affordable Housing celebrated the grand opening of Ethiopian Village over traditional Ethiopian food, coffee, and wine. Ethiopian Village is made possible by Ethiopian Community in Seattle and HumanGood Affordable Housing partnering to provide 90 units of culturally appropriate, affordable senior housing. This new project synergizes with the existing community center which was renovated and expanded to meet the current and future needs of the Ethiopian Community in Seattle.
One of the most prominent features of Ethiopian Village is the large vinyl prints which grace the sides of the Ethiopian Village with murals of Ethiopian traditions, motifs, and values. These murals were designed by a local artist from the community.
The building is connected to the renovated ECS headquarters and a coffee shop to recognize the social tradition of meeting over coffee, and the beginning of a community. Ethiopian Village welcomes all residents who meet the income qualifications, and residents do not need to be Ethiopian to live in the community.
Ethiopian Village is currently accepting applications from low-income seniors 55 years and older.
Solar panel installation reduces carbon footprint and costs for affordable housing sector.
HumanGood has been making strides in our efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and costs for our properties and residents. Beacon Development Group, HumanGood’s development arm, has been installing solar panels on new affordable housing communities and rehabilitation projects using two solar technologies: solar photovoltaic, which uses sunlight to generate electric currents, and thermal, which uses sunlight to heat water used in the communities. Currently, more than a dozen affordable housing communities own their own solar system whether it is solar electric or solar hot water. Outside ownership, there are also other options to provide these technologies for our communities.
The Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) and Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) programs help provide clean energy and save costs for residents at no cost to the property. The programs are offered to select California utility providers and present financial benefits, improve environmental sustainability, and offset the costs of climate change for communities. Approximately 50 percent of the solar produced will reduce residents’ energy bills while the other 50 percent benefits the communities themselves.
“We have the footprint across our portfolio to use the sun to power our buildings and in some cases, heat the water used by our residents,” said George Sousou, construction management director, Beacon Development Group. “There are many benefits to solar whether it’s the reduction in our buildings’ carbon footprint, the cost savings to daily operations and residents, or just doing our part of being responsible building owners.”
Beacon’s construction management department installed solar technology on four HumanGood affordable housing communities across California through the SOMAH program: Valley Vista, Judson Terraces Homes, Life’s Garden, and Sycamore Terrace. Fern Lodge is also 75 percent complete with its installation. Beacon plans to complete installation at six more communities in the next year under a contract with SunRun.
“I hope to one day see solar and other renewable energy alternatives across our entire portfolio of affordable housing and life plan communities,” said Sousou. By the end of 2024, Beacon plans to install solar panels in a total of 23 HumanGood affordable housing communities in California.
Beacon Development Group was honored as LifeWire’s Community Partner of the Year at their Hope Starts Here Luncheon, held on May 25th in Bellevue, WA. Beacon has been working closely with LifeWire to develop affordable housing for individuals and families escaping domestic violence. We are in the final stages of renovating an existing apartment building with 25 one- and two- bedroom units as well as the new construction of a 2,900 square foot resident service building.
“It is an honor to partner with LifeWire to build housing for survivors facing the impossible choice of staying in an abusive relationship or becoming homeless,” shares Alberta Bleck, the project manager. “We encountered unique challenges in developing this housing, but the strength of the team allowed us to overcome barriers, adding needed shelter and transitional housing units in an area rich with amenities and opportunities for survivors and their families to heal and thrive.”
LifeWire is Washington State’s largest provider serving survivors of domestic violence, offering holistic support, including homelessness and housing stability services, legal assistance, and advocacy. In 2022, LifeWire provided life-saving services to 3,300 survivors across Washington State. Since its formation in 1982, LifeWire has served 160,000 survivors, more than the population of Bellevue.
HumanGood affordable housing community Castle Argyle was recently announced as a winner in the 60th Annual Gold Nugget Awards 2023 Award of Merit list for Best Affordable 55+ Housing. According to the Gold Nugget Award website, Award of Merit winners are selected by a panel of top industry experts who reviewed nearly 650 entries that showcase the most exciting trends in design, planning, and building. Castle Argyle serves seniors 62+ and adults 18+ with disabilities earning less than 50% of the area median income. With efforts from Beacon Development Group, Walton Construction, and Relativity Architects, the nearly 100-year-old building underwent renovations in 2022 that feature upgraded units and common spaces, energy-efficient appliances, new elevators and HVAC systems. The exterior also features new landscaping and a unique, custom mural by Puerto Rican-based artist Roberto Biaggi. Restoration of the Castle Argyle building was brought back to its classic Hollywood style.
“I want to recognize the perseverance, innovation, and resilience of the entire design, development, operations, and resident services team, that overcame so many challenges to do what is right,” said Cindy Proctor, vice president at Beacon Development Group. “They, along with the residents themselves, endured COVID-19 isolation, temporary relocations, and the stress of rehabilitating the building.” Castle Argyle’s renovations were graciously funded by Citi Bank and U.S. Bank, and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The Golden Nugget Awards celebrates art, innovation, and development in categories such as senior housing, mixed-use, educational, and indoor-outdoor lifestyle. The awards are presented at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference, the leading event of Leading Builders of America. This year, the event will be held on May 24 in Anaheim.
Beacon is proud to announce the financial closing of KWA 15th & Tacoma for the Korean Women’s Association. The new building in downtown Tacoma will include 88 units of deeply affordable housing for seniors, with a focus for seniors with limited English proficiency. To support residents’ ability to age in place, an onsite social services coordinator will assist residents identify, access, and coordinate services. The building will also include a 2,300 square foot Learning Center where residents and community members can benefit from events and programs of the Korean Women’s Association, including an onsite meal program.
Korean Women’s Association’s 15th & Tacoma project is made possible through funds from the City of Tacoma, Tacoma Community Redevelopment Association, Pierce County, Pierce County Community Development Corporation, the Washington Housing Trust Fund, the HUD 202 program, Key Bank, Key Community Development Corporation, Heritage Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank, and the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. Design and construction partners include Environmental Works and Marpac Construction.
In December 2022, Filipino Community Village was recognized by the Senior Housing News Award for excellence in affordable housing. The 95-unit affordable senior housing development features a 5,000 square foot Innovation Learning Center for seniors and students to access Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) programming. The highlight of this project is a commissioned set of four murals in the new plaza by an internationally renowned Filipino artist. This artwork educates the community about the history of Filipino Americans from pre-Spanish occupation to Seattle’s present day Filipino community.
Filipino Community Village is the result of a partnership between HumanGood Affordable Housing, Beacon Development Group’s parent company, and the Filipino Community of Seattle (FCS). FCS has provided services to Filipinos in Seattle for decades and for many years has had the goal of building affordable senior housing. The site is adjacent to the existing Filipino Community Center, where residents have access to programming including a food bank, health screening, and cultural programs.
Beacon and HumanGood Affordable Housing are honored to receive the national 2nd place award in the Affordable Housing category from Senior Housing News Award and look forward to future projects with the Filipino Community of Seattle.
The redevelopment of the 64-unit Canterbury Village in Santa Clarita, CA and 75-unit The Gardens in Glendale, CA have both reached 50% completion. Canterbury Village started its rehab in May 2022 with completing 4 out of its 6 phases. Closely behind, The Gardens started its rehab in June 2022, with completing 5 out of its 9 phases of the renovation. Completed rehab to date includes renovations of their property management offices, laundry rooms, libraries and community rooms. New mailbox locations and elevator shafts work has been completed as well. Both properties are expected to be completed by mid-2023.