Is the city getting in the way of its own affordable housing goals? One developer thinks so

Rendering of the project at 7306 Comstock Avenue (Credit: Heritage Housing Partners)
Rendering of the project at 7306 Comstock Avenue (Credit: Heritage Housing Partners)

Don’t blame the player, blame the game.

That’s what Heritage Housing Partners wants you to know about its Whittier affordable condo project, which has had trouble finding buyers that meet the city’s restrictive income qualifications.
The condos on the corner of Comstock Avenue and Penn Street hit the market last year but only seven of the 11 units have sold, the Pasadena Star News reported.

The developer blames the slow process on the qualifiable income margin dictated by city officials. For instance, a family of four can could buy a condo at the building only if it reported income between $69,450 and $77,750.

“We have a lot of people interested but getting that sweet spot is tough,” said Heritage Housing’s executive director, Charles Loveman. “It’s finding a needle in a haystack.”

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Buyers are also deterred by the city’s limits on refinancing and reselling, he added. A homeowner cannot resell the condo unless the new buyer also meets the income qualifications.


Heritage received $2.3 million from the city to build the condos. The Pasadena developer was also gifted the land, which is worth $1.8 million. A recent report found that L.A. is the single most unaffordable city in the United States for both renters and buyers. [PSN]Cathaleen Chen