Housing

Victory Outreach Pastor Mike Gonzalez (left), Palmdale’s Director of Neighborhood Services Mike Miller and Councilwoman Laura Bettencourt speak inside one of the refurbished apartments operated by Victory Outreach as part of the city’s affordable housing program.

PALMDALE — Thanks to a collaboration between the city and a private organization, Palmdale has four more freshly refurbished apartments available to rent to those who may otherwise be having trouble finding a suitable home within their means.

The four-unit apartment building at 38709 Larkin Ave., dedicated Wednesday, has been refurbished “from the floors to the roof,” and is already home to tenants who had been in need of affordable housing, said Pastor Mike Gonzalez of Victory Outreach, the organization that rehabilitated and is operating the apartments under lease from the city.

“It’s about transformation,” Palmdale’s Senior Housing Coordinator Sophia Reyes said, adding the transformation extends not only to the completely refurbished apartment building but to the lives of those who live there as well.

The four-unit building includes a single one-bedroom unit, two units with two bedrooms and a three-bedroom unit. It also has two-car garages and additional uncovered parking spaces off the street.

The City of Palmdale’s Housing Authority purchased the property, then vacant and in disrepair, in December 2016.

It then partnered with Victory Outreach under a $470,000 loan in August 2018 for the lease on the building and

its complete refurbishment.

Victory Outreach runs rehabilitation programs for area residents and has found some of those who complete the program have nowhere to go, Gonzalez said.

“Now they have a place where they’re beginning to develop more job skills so they can be productive in our community,” he said.

The church brought in a contractor to completely refurbish the complex, including new floors, roofs, air conditioning, water heaters, windows, appliances and drywall and paint.

“We did everything brand new,” Gonzalez said.

The tenants selected include a family with five children who had been living in a single bedroom of a relative’s house and two young men who had been living in a garage, he said.

“We look for the most needy” as tenants, he said.

“This is a huge step forward in the city’s comprehensive plan to get more housing for people in need,” Councilwoman Laura Bettencourt said. “Working in partnership with Victory Outreach to get this done is a huge accomplishment.”

The project shows the value of these kinds of public-private partnerships, she said, and is a beautiful example of the kind of affordable housing that can be available.

“We’re not just putting cheap housing together. This is quality housing for people who truly need it,” she said.

The apartment complex is in the city’s Focus Neighborhood 3, which includes other city-sponsored rehabilitation projects, including The Dream Center and Jimmy’s Place, The Yucca Neighborhood House and Gabriel’s House.                                       

Mayor Pro Tem Austin Bishop noted the ripple effects of the latest improved facility are already being seen in the neighborhood, as workers were found Wednesday painting a larger apartment building about a block away on Larkin Avenue.

“When you look around the city, you feel the energy of everyone taking some pride in their community,” he said.

“Nothing says community better than bringing people together to solve tough issues and creating positive results, and that is what we are witnessing today,” Assistant City Manager J.J. Murphy said.

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