Senior Housing to Be Assigned by Lottery

A lottery will be held Jan. 10 to determine who will be able to move into the Naomi Gardens senior citizens housing project.

Construction of the 100-unit, $6-million project on Naomi Street just east of Baldwin Avenue was approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development more than four years ago. And with the federally subsidized project nearing completion, managers ran into a snag last month when they decided to accept applications for the much-sought housing on a first-come, first-served basis at City Hall.

That plan was abandoned when city officials, with visions of senior citizens standing in line, perhaps overnight, on city property, told Mid America Apartment Management Co. it would have to come up with another selection process.

Mid America decided on a lottery, said Phil Sutherland, who will manage the complex, because under federal law applicants for housing allocated under a first-come, first-served basis must appear in person. Under the lottery system, applications can be handled by mail and the forms may be obtained by someone other than the applicant.

According to Sutherland, there is a severe shortage of subsidized housing for senior citizens.

"Almost every housing project has waiting lists of 300 to 500 names," he said.

"I have been managing Golden Age Village in Monterey Park, a 5-year-old, 120 unit building. There are 500 on the waiting list, which means a wait of 8 to 10 years."

Each apartment in Naomi Gardens will have one bedroom, a living room, dining room, kitchen and bathroom. The winners may be able to move in as early as Jan. 31.

Sutherland said seniors can pick up or write for a lottery registration form at 1043 S. San Gabriel Blvd., San Gabriel 91776, weekdays from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. The deadline for requesting forms is Dec. 6. The completed forms must be returned by Dec. 31.

Mid America will draw the names of 500 seniors and 75 handicapped people (10 of the units are for the handicapped) and, starting with the first name, will check to be sure applicants qualify. The elderly must be age 62 or older and meet the federal guidelines for income limits, which are $10,150 for one person and $11,500 for a family of two. Applicants do not have to be residents of Arcadia. After the 100 units are filled, Mid America will keep a waiting list of 25 elderly and 10 handicapped people.

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