Anaheim, CA / Santa Ana, CA (July 26, 2021) — Innovative Housing Opportunities (IHO), the City of Anaheim and Anaheim Housing Authority announced the opening of El Verano, a fully-occupied 54-unit affordable and permanent supportive housing (PSH) apartment community for formerly homeless and low-income seniors located at 1248 E. Lincoln Ave. in the City of Anaheim.
El Verano replaced a blighted motel property purchased by Anaheim in 2017 for redevelopment. The 1.1-acre property is now the site of a high quality, Spanish architecture inspired three-story building. The design includes native landscaping with multiple sustainable elements and outdoor common amenities that encourage social engagement and resident wellness. An inviting landscaped art wall is located at the entryway to benefit both the residents and local community, which is just one of many on-site art-inspired installations.
Resident amenities include a community room, computer room, and a dedicated health office. All services help residents to remain stably housed, and to age in place with dignity and grace. Within El Verano these comprehensive services improve the quality of life and generate positive changes in the lives of its senior residents. The array of supportive and healthcare services allows residents to live independently rather than having to move to a skilled medical facility or return to homelessness. These resources include connections to available benefits programs, pro-bono medical and dental screenings, and mental health services.
“Our primary focus in all we do is helping our residents successfully transition into their new homes and build personal resilience. We design our communities with a collection of intimate niches and spaces so that everyone can feel safe in connecting to each other, support service providers and to our staff,” shared Rochelle Mills, IHO president and CEO. “The integration of art elements further adds to a sense of pride for our residents but also shows how important it is for us to add to the neighborhood, and elevate the idea of affordable housing. We truly believe that our properties can be a catalyst for improving and enhancing the community at large.”
During the community’s official grand opening Mayor Pro-Tem, City of Anaheim, Stephen Faessel shared, “This facility has changed lives. You’d never know this was for people in need, for whom the cost of living is a challenge. This is now their home and with that comes comfort and peace of mind. Before El Verano was built here, it was a motel that was in need of change. We have transformed this piece of Lincoln Avenue, and we are bettering the lives of those who live here in the process.”
El Verano resident David Cabrera exemplifies this need. Cabrera had been homeless living in a river bed since 2014. He is now a resident of El Verano and can go to bed at night feeling safe and secure.
The new community is located adjacent to IHO’s award-winning Rockwood Apartments, an innovative multifamily development that provides stable housing and support services for 48 formerly homeless families, as well as 15 permanent supportive housing units for Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) clients living with mental illness. The property includes six affordable apartments for large families. The high-quality craftsman-style architecture features windows styled with a stained-glass treatment and public art at the property entrance.
Now in its 45th year of operation, IHO has grown its portfolio of housing to more than 600 units across seven properties in Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego counties. Looking ahead, IHO is currently developing affordable housing for families in the city of Carlsbad and a community targeting homeless students, including young people aging out of the foster care system, in the city of Riverside.
About Innovative Housing Opportunities (IHO): IHO was formed in 1976 to help the business community and government address the shortage of low-to-moderate income housing in the City of Irvine. Since that time, IHO has expanded its development portfolio to include high-quality, well-designed, affordable housing to meet the growing need for housing across Southern California. IHO has successfully provided housing and supportive services for seniors, families, veterans, those living with mental illness, formerly homeless, developmentally disabled and other special needs and mixed populations. It has more than 600 apartments in operation and 600 in development or construction across Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego counties. For more information, visit www.innovativehousing.com.