Affordable housing is coming to La Verne in 2023

The first phase of the Veranda II housing development is under construction at the 3800 block of Fruit Street in La Verne. Verdana II is a planned community of new moderate-income housing development by Brandywine Homes. Construction began in 2022 and is expected to be completed later this year. / photo by Kim Toth
The first phase of the Veranda II housing development is under construction at the 3800 block of Fruit Street in La Verne. Verdana II is a planned community of new moderate-income housing development by Brandywine Homes. Construction began in 2022 and is expected to be completed later this year. / photo by Kim Toth

Sabin Gabra
Staff Writer

Brandywine Homes began work on Verdana II, a new moderate-income housing complex in La Verne that will have eight two-story, detached single-family houses in June 2022. This restricted program will be available to people with a maximum household income of $109,000.

“I think that providing housing for people who are looking for something affordable is an amazing idea,” Gabriela Ocampo, a resident of La Verne, said.

In 2009, the city bought a site on Walnut Street using funding from the previous redevelopment agency designated particularly for affordable housing. The property was given to the city’s housing authority after the state dissolved redevelopment agencies in 2012. 

Since then, the city has planned to collaborate with a developer to construct high-quality single-family homes for qualified families to purchase. 

“This is a part of our master plan,” Mayor Tim Hepburn, said. “We were also just approved by the state with the new housing numbers.”

Following many attempts to form a partnership with a developer, the city eventually signed a contract with Brandywine Homes in December 2020. The city sold the Walnut Street site in return for Brandywine Homes.

Bearing the costs of designing and building eight affordable single-family residences. This collaboration makes this affordable housing project possible by relieving the city of a major financial load.

“There are multiple types of applications, like a precise plan review which is standard for architecture,” Eric Scherer, community development director, said. “For each of the two property sites which are on Fruit Street and Walnut Street.”

The new developments are anticipated to finish in early summer 2023. Those who are interested are encouraged to apply and will be notified once the applications are accepted.

“What happens in La Verne is, once we understand what is being proposed we will identify the types of applications needed,” Scherer said. 

The city, Brandywine Homes, and the environmental consultants, LSA Associates, Inc., sponsored two virtual neighborhood seminars in May 2021 to obtain public input and educate the community about the project.

“I thought this was a good way to show people what they can look forward to without any surprises,” Torrien Revera, a resident of La Verne, said. “It is nice to know more people know about this city and how safe it feels.”

Many possible environmental effects, including aesthetics, air quality, utilities, noise, and traffic, were assessed as part of the environmental evaluation process. 

Verdana and Verdana II were conditionally approved by the City Council on the advice of the city administration, the La Verne Development Review Committee and the La Verne Planning Commission due to the lack of any appreciable consequences.   

“We were able to come to an agreement between the city giving them land for eight affordable homes,” Hepburn said. “But the agreement was you could not do one without the other.”

Of the 50 market-rate townhouses, Verdana, is situated on Fruit Street. There are three different floor plans with two and three bedrooms, ranging in size from 1,310 to 1,791 square feet. The apartments will include two-car garages with side-by-side spaces and private, open patios. 

“I have seen construction while driving on Fruit Street and so far it is being built pretty quick,” Ocampo said. “I am wondering how long before it is built that people will apply.”

Verdana is a captivating and distinctive new location to call home, and Brandywine Homes extend its warmest welcome. Verdana II apartments are roughly 1,357 square feet and contain three bedrooms and two and a half baths.

Spacious home layouts, private yards and energy-saving features are the amenities. The city’s arrangement with Brandywine Homes prioritizes La Verne residents on the interest list for an opportunity to purchase one of the houses.

“For young families and young professionals it can be difficult to own your home anywhere in Southern California,” Scherer said. “Anytime you can provide affordable housing it is great, but it is expensive to build.”

Sabin Gabra can be reached at sabin.gabra@laverne.edu

Sabin Gabra, a freshman communications major with a public relations concentration, is a staff writer for the Campus Times.

Kim Toth, a junior photography major, is photography editor for the Campus Times and a staff photographer for La Verne Magazine. Her work can be found in Instagram at @kim_t_photos and @kimberlytothphotos.

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