The Olson Company Partners With Cities to Develop Communities and Build Affordable Housing

The Olson Company has been at the forefront of solving California's shortage of affordable new homes in urban areas for more than 30 years. Seeing the potential of each community, Olson works with cities and counties to re-entitle, rezone, and develop underutilized land into new energy-efficient homes that are close to jobs, public transportation, amenities, and entertainment options.

The California Department of Housing and Community Development ranked the State as the toughest in the nation for first-time buyers looking to purchase a home. In addition, new housing production, especially in urban areas, has lagged significantly.

Recognizing these factors, The Olson Company has made a concerted effort to offer affordable and attainable housing to California residents, particularly in Southern California.

One of The Olson Company's recent projects was Magnolia Walk in the Los Angeles community of Willowbrook. The builder worked in partnership with the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles and the Community Development Commission of the County of Los Angeles to offer a mixed income affordable housing community. When the pre-qualification process opened for Magnolia Walk's affordable homes, they were met with an extremely positive response by potential homebuyers with over 500 applications.

In 2015, The Olson Company canvassed the surrounding community, contacting neighbors, to explain what the plans were for the site in an effort to build community support. There wasn't a single community member that opposed the project, in fact, neighbors felt the beautiful homes would benefit their community.

While it can sometimes be a hurdle to sell homes in mixed-income developments that offer both affordable and market-rate housing, that was not the case with Magnolia Walk as all of the homes sold very quickly.

"The community of Willowbrook has undergone a remarkable transformation over the last decade, with an unprecedented public investment in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medical Campus, transportation infrastructure, and enhanced parks and libraries. Yet, this is all for naught if residents can't afford to enjoy the fruits of this investment," said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. "Our objective is to promote generational wealth building through home-buying, including opportunities for low and very-low income families. Today, over 90 families benefit from this notable partnership. The Olson Company has been a powerful partner in the County's efforts to develop high-quality housing that all income-levels can afford."

The County of Los Angeles began working with The Olson Company on this project in 2005, however, due to the financial crisis that hit the housing market hard in 2008, the project was put on hold for six years.

Emilio Salas, Acting Executive Director of Los Angeles County Development Authority, says he is really thankful to The Olson Company and acknowledges them for seeing this project through the challenges that were presented. "I really have to credit them for being very resilient during the economic downturn. They were very focused on making this project work. It was a huge number of homes in a very distressed community. That community is undergoing the entire transformation, and I think that this project is really one of the landmarks there now, in that Willowbrook community."

Salas added, "It falls right in line with what the county is trying to do, and provides more opportunities for lower-income households to purchase the home and realize the American dream."

Lisa S., a Magnolia Walk homeowner, says, "When I first found out about the affordable home program, I thought, wow, that's something that I could qualify for. I think that the affordable home program is something that is really needed for the community. I'm thankful to Olson Homes for even considering partnering with L.A. County to make affordable homes available to people like me and other families that really want to own a home."

When it comes to her favorite part about being a homeowner, another Magnolia Walk homebuyer says, "I think being able to drive into my own garage. Coming from my parents' house, I didn't have that luxury. I had to park in the driveway or on the street. So, being able to drive into my own garage, my own home, coming home after work after a long day. It's a blessing."

The Olson Company believes that homeownership in California should be possible for everyone. The team is taking a proactive stance to do its part in alleviating the housing crisis in California by working with cities and counties like Los Angeles to identify communities in mature neighborhoods that require minimal infrastructure to build urban neighborhoods that promise to keep construction costs low, taxes reasonable, and home prices attainable.

"We wish that there were more private organizations that had such a vision, to make sure they understand the importance of home-ownership opportunities for the lower-income community. It really became, I believe, a jewel within the Willowbrook community," concluded Salas.

About The Olson Company

The Olson Company is California's premier builder of affordable new home communities in the state's most in-demand urban centers. In partnership with cities and other local and state agencies, Olson works to provide multi-tiered solutions to the critical issues of affordable for-sale housing, community redevelopment, transportation and sustainability. Recognized for creating thoughtfully designed communities within reach of California homebuyers, Olson has built more than 11,000 single-family attached, single-family detached, live/work and mixed-use in-town homes across 100 cities since 1988. Headquartered in Seal Beach, California, Olson is the proud recipient of many top customer experience awards including the 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 Eliant Homebuyers' Choice first-place awards for Overall Purchase and Ownership Experience.

Source: The Olson Company

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Categories: Real Estate, Housing and Community Planning and Development, Construction

Tags: Affordable New Home Communities, Award-Winning Homes, Southern California Real Estate


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About The Olson Company

The Olson Company is California's premier builder of affordable new home communities in the state's most in-demand urban centers. In partnership with cities and other local and state agencies, Olson works to provide multi-tie

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