10 Frequently Asked Questions
American Communities is committed to serving potential residents by providing ample information about each of the properties we build. If you question has not been addressed below, please click here to e-mail us your question or call us at 323.934.3828.
1. What is American Communities status as an affordable housing developer in Southern California?
American Communities has an unparalleled track record of successful affordable housing developments in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. Each complex features exceptional design, quality construction and exemplary management and maintenance.
2. How is affordable housing financed?
There are many different financing mechanisms in the development of affordable housing including local and federal government programs, tax credits, low interest loans, grants and donations. A successful development requires cooperation from multiple sources and provides adequate capital to build high quality, environmentally friendly housing. Such development also provides well paying construction jobs during construction and long term benefits to the community.
3. What are the new feature being incorporated in affordable housing construction today?
American Communities’ new affordable developments are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, (LEED), certified and, therefore, require the use of formaldehyde free, eco-friendly kitchen cabinets, hard wood flooring, Energy Star appliances, low flow toilets and sinks as well as high efficiency low-E vinyl windows, among other eco-friendly and energy efficient features.
4. How do I qualify to live in one of your communities?
Our onsite property manager will determine if you qualify to rent an apartment in one of our communities. Potential tenants must verify their income as well as pass a credit and background check. Because of the financing, rents are restricted at various levels which correspond to income levels.
5. How do I apply for a rental unit or put myself on the waiting list?
In order to apply for a rental unit or be put on a properties waiting list please visit our Communities page and e-mail or call the contact listed at John Stewart Property Management. On a new property, John Stewart Property Management pre-qualifies tenants and then implements a lottery to allocate units in the initial lease-up phase.
6. Do your properties accept Section 8 Vouchers?
We gladly accept section 8 vouchers. Our properties are also designed to accommodate handicapped tenants. Finally, our management company encourages diversity by implementing non-discriminatory practices.
7. Is affordable housing an unsightly addition to the neighborhood?
American Communities works with two of California’s best architectural firms: PSL and Archeon International. Each firm is recognized for excellence across a wide range of product. For each housing development, great care goes into the design of the building. Special attention is given to the neighborhood context, orientation for light and air and then units are configured to maximize tenant quality of life. We urge you to visit each of our communities and see for yourself.
8. Does the development of affordable housing lead to a decrease in surrounding property values?
Studies have tracked property values before and after the introduction of an affordable housing community into a neighborhood. These studies have found that affordable housing has an inconsequential or positive effect on surrounding property values. A positive effect is most often the result when a blighted building is torn down and replaced with new residential development.
9. Does affordable housing bring more traffic into the neighborhood?
Developing affordable housing near jobs increases the use of public transportation, shortens commuting time for workers and in doing so decreases traffic congestion. Similarly, when a Transit Oriented Development, a development located within ¼ mile of a qualified transit station, is built, automobile traffic decreases because of access to public transportation. Most of our properties are proximate to mass transit and, with respect to those financed with tax credits, close to all community amenities such as schools, parks and shopping.
10. Does the development of affordable housing overburden school, fire, police, and health resources?
Most of the tenants of affordable housing communities already live in the area; however, they live in overcrowded apartments. The development of affordable housing reduces overcrowding, enabling families to have their own home instead of having to share a home with another family. Affordable housing developers are also required to pay per unit impact and permit fees that go toward paying for public resources in the area such as police and fire services.