By Stephanie Raygoza
Long Beach residents and elected officials gathered Feb. 5 to celebrate the grand opening of the Long Beach and Burnett Apartments, a housing development in which 80 percent of its units are made available as low-income housing.
Sixth District Councilmember Dee Andrews, The Long Beach Housing Development Company (LBHDC) and housing developer Meta Housing Corporation hosted the ceremony with opening remarks from Andrews, US Congressmember Laura Richardson, and a prospective resident of the apartments.
“The real celebration is that 46 families now have a safe and secure home,” said Graham Espley-Jones, president of the Western Community Housing, a nonprofit public benefit corporation.
The apartments, located at 2355 Long Beach Blvd., on the corner of Burnett Street, are conveniently close to public transit, grocery markets and other retail stores, offering what Espley-Jones stresses as “safe, quality affordable housing.”
The grand opening included acknowledgements of the several people involved in the project, a ribbon-cutting ceremony, a tour of the units, and lunch on the apartment complex’s second-floor patio.
“You made sure that we could balance the money with transit dollars in a transit corridor that will actually make it better for people to live because ultimately we want to encourage people to be riding the various modes of transportation,” Richardson said, addressing the numerous project investors and developers. “This is a good project all the way around. It’s good news for the city.”
The Long Beach and Burnett Apartments is a mixed-income apartment community, offering 46 two- and three-bedroom housing units. Thirty-six units are available to very low-, low- and moderate-income households with rents ranging from $489 to $1,211 a month.
Energy-efficient appliances, a resident room and classroom, computer learning center, laundry facility, recycling room and 7,000 square feet of open space are some of the features provided to residents.
The LBHDC invested $9.9 million of redevelopment 20-percent Tax Increment Housing Set Aside funds in the project. Meta Housing Corporation specializes in developing affordable and market-rate apartment communities for families and seniors.
“Long Beach and Burnett Apartments has revitalized a once blighted and underutilized property, turning it into an asset for the community,” said Andrews. “This is your home. If you treat it like your home, then you know it’s a safe place.”