Retiring to Lavender

Affordable apartment complex for Sacramento’s LGBTQ seniors gets $11 million windfall from California’s Prop. 1

After four years in the works, a Midtown housing project for lower-income LGBTQ seniors is nearly ready for construction to begin.

Lavender Courtyard is designed to bring affordable apartments to an increasingly unaffordable part of the urban core. Twenty of its units, to be located at 16th and F streets, will also be set aside as permanent supportive housing for people who were formerly homeless.

Mutual Housing California and the Sacramento City Council have been trying to make Lavender Courtyard a reality since 2016. Mutual Housing eventually secured a $2.5 million grant from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. Then the City Council voted in December to recommit a $1.9 loan to the project from its federal HOME funds.

During that vote, Jesse Archer, assistant director of youth with the Sacramento LGBTQ Community Center, stressed how important Lavender Courtyard is.

“We know that our LGBTQ seniors that are aging without families, without friends, without kids, need our support,” Archer told council members. “Our community center is committed to helping with the programs that Lavender Courtyard will need once built.”

The biggest break for Lavender Courtyard happened last week, when Mutual Housing scored a $11.3 million grant from the new Proposition 1 Veterans and Affordable Housing Act, which California voters passed in 2018.

“It’s very significant,” Mutual Housing CEO Roberto Jiménez told SN&R. “For us, it was also really exciting because it came from voters deciding that affordable housing had to be a priority for the state.”

Jiménez says the final step involves applying for $11.4 million in state and federal tax credits, which his organization plans to do next week. Given all the other funding sources now in place, Mutual Housing is in a strong position to land the tax credits.

“This project is going to help decrease displacement for people being pushed out of that community, and it is a place that really is a community,” Jiménez noted. “It’s also going to increase the opportunity for people who have been pushed out to come back now.”