East LA Community Corp. lands $55M in loans for affordable housing projects

The financing from CIT Bank will go toward developing 146 affordable units in El Sereno and East LA

East LA Community Corporation President Isela Gracian, CIT Bank President Robert Rubino and the two projects
East LA Community Corporation President Isela Gracian, CIT Bank President Robert Rubino and the two projects

With Los Angeles providing rich incentives for affordable housing developments, an increasing number of financial institutions are getting involved.

The latest is CIT Bank, which is providing $55 million in loans to East LA Community Corp. for two affordable housing projects with a combined 146 units.

The Pasadena-based bank — a subsidiary of New York-based CIT Group Inc. — announced the financing package this week, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal.

CIT is providing around $29 million in debt to East LA Community Corp.’s El Nuevo Amanecer project at 111 N. Rowan Ave., in East L.A. The majority of that debt is a construction loan.

The 61-unit project will be roughly split between units reserved for homeless veterans and units for low-income families. It will include 10,000 square feet of ground floor retail space.

East LA Community Corp.’s 85-unit Rosa de Castilla Apartments at 4208 E. Huntington Drive South in El Sereno is receiving around $27 million in debt from CIT Bank. The units are a mix of permanent supportive housing and low-income housing.

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CIT is providing the funds through its Community Investment Loan program, which it set up to provide loans for low-income housing and housing for seniors and residents with special needs, according to the Journal.

East LA Community Corp. is also funding the projects with federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits and funding from other government programs.

Affordable developers have watched the pool of Low Income Housing Tax Credit funds dry up since the 2017 federal tax overhaul, forcing them to take on more debt.

Between 2016-2018, LIHTC funds have dropped 31 percent. The tax credits typically make up 20-70 percent of financing for individual projects.

Meanwhile, L.A.’s Transit-Oriented Communities program, which provides incentives to developers who include affordable units in market-rate projects, has flourished.

CIT Bank also invests in properties itself. Last June it partnered with Canyon Partners’ on the purchase a 177-unit apartment complex in Hollywood. [LABJ] — Dennis Lynch