Jamboree Brings More Affordable Housing to Job-Rich Irvine With New Montecito Vista Development

Irvine, CA – Jamboree Housing Corporation (JHC), Orange County’s leading nonprofit developer of affordable housing, today announced it will be accepting applications for its latest community. The developer anticipates that Irvine’s Montecito Vista will bring many lower-income families closer to their workplace and open doors to schools and programs that otherwise might have been unaffordable.

“There is a continually growing need for more affordable housing in Orange County, which requires more housing in all price ranges to support future economic growth,” says Laura Archuleta, president of JHC. “We are proud to work on Montecito Vista in partnership with The Irvine Company, the City of Irvine and the County of Orange. Together we are providing high-quality workforce housing alternatives for families who will now be able to live closer to their employment and gain more family and community time.”

Irvine’s jobs-to-housing ratio and proximity to nationally acclaimed educational opportunities – the Tustin and Irvine Unified School Districts, the University of California at Irvine, as well as a handful of community colleges – appeal to qualifying families, Archuleta believes. Located at the intersection of Culver Drive and Farwell Avenue, north of Interstate 5, Montecito Vista offers 162 apartments for residents earning 30% to 50% of Orange County’s median household income. The complex is adjacent to a new state-of-the-art high school and conveniently located to major employment centers, shopping, entertainment, public transit, parks and recreation.

The City of Irvine also sees merit in bringing affordable housing to those who work in a community that might normally be cost-prohibitive. According to its Housing Element, the City of Irvine is a jobs-rich community overall, with an estimated 3.4 jobs per housing unit. Thousands of residents from other communities commute to Irvine for work, creating traffic congestion, air quality problems and other issues. Incorporating affordable housing into its major employment centers makes sense for the City and families and is key to the success of Irvine’s overall housing plan.

JHC’s Archuleta is optimistic about the appeal of Montecito Visa to potential renters, noting that the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) consistently ranks among the finest educational systems in the nation. Irvine students consistently lead Orange County in SAT test scores, and more than 90 percent of its high school graduates attend college. In the past decade, nine schools in the Tustin Unified School District have been recognized as state or nationally distinguished schools. The new Arnold O. Beckman High School, adjacent to Montecito Vista, is expected to join the ranks of top-quality educational centers. The $94 million state-of-the-art facility is the first TUSD high school to be built in 40 years. The school features a 550-seat theater and visual-performing arts complex including a television studio and animation and additional opportunities are being developed for a focused science/math/technology program.

Noting the need for apartments suited to larger families, Archuleta reports that Montecito Vista consists of 84 two-bedroom, one-bath units and 78 large three-bedroom, two-bath units. “Growing families frequently face a unique challenge finding larger apartment homes in Orange and Los Angeles counties, and we’re pleased to be increasing the stock of high-quality affordable housing serving these families. That’s why our outreach efforts to potential residents will include an extensive word-of-mouth campaign throughout local churches and community organizations,” she adds.

JHC developed Montecito Vista, and The Irvine Apartment Communities (IAC) provided the land. In addition to IAC’s involvement, the project received financial support from the City of Irvine and Orange County, as well as U.S. Bank, and both low-income housing tax credits and tax-exempt bonds issued by the County of Orange.

The apartments are built in a cluster of seven three-story, garden-style buildings to be compatible with existing homes in the surrounding neighborhood. Community amenities will include several tot lots, a large multi-purpose room with kitchen, and an after-school learning center and computer lab. JHC is already working to bring its Housing with HEART (Helping Educate, Activate and Respond Together) resident service programs to Montecito Vista, such as child safety and tutoring programs, computer learning classes, and programs designed to prepare residents for eventual home ownership. In addition, an on-site program coordinator will assist residents in accessing services available in the surrounding area.

Says Archuleta, “In the long-term, increasing the range of housing options will enable families to live in their work communities, create a better jobs-and-housing balance and serve as a positive force on the family: shorter commutes, better schools and many of the programs, services and opportunities often only afforded to those in higher income brackets.”

Resident qualification details and rental applications for Montecito Vista will be available on the JHC Web site at www.jamboreehousing.com starting on Monday, April 11, 2005.

About Jamboree: Founded in 1990, Jamboree Housing Corporation is a broad-based nonprofit housing development company that develops, acquires, renovates and manages permanently affordable rental and ownership housing for lower-income families and seniors throughout California. Housing with HEART (Helping Educate, Activate and Respond Together) is a 501 (c)(3) organization and an affiliate of JHC. JHC was one of the first nonprofit housing providers to recognize, and integrate into its program, the vital link between housing and on-site resident services.

Jamboree Housing Corporation was one of six winners nationwide in Fannie Mae’s 15th Annual Maxwell Awards of Excellence; it was named 2004 Developer of the Year by the Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing (SCANPH), and one of its communities won the 2004 Communities of Quality Award by the Affordable Housing Management Association (AHMA).

Jamboree Housing Corporation is Orange County’s leading nonprofit developer with an ownership interest in more than 3,600 affordable rental apartment homes throughout California. More information is available on the company’s Web site at www.jamboreehousing.com.

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