BANKING/FINANCE : Affordable Housing Projects Get Boost From S&L; Grants

Three affordable housing projects in Orange County received a financial boost recently from a special subsidy program mandated by last year's federal law that restructured the savings and loan industry.

The projects are among 31 in California, Arizona and Nevada to win the first round of S&L; grants totaling $12.1 million from the Federal Home Loan Bank in San Francisco, one of 12 regional banks in the federal system that provides credit to savings and loans.

The winning projects were chosen from 43 applications from 34 institutions seeking $39.4 million in subsidies.

The thrifts are required to ultimately pass the savings to the buyers and renters of low- and moderate-income housing.

ITT Federal Bank in Irvine will be receiving $43,327 to pay for an Orange County Community Housing Corp. project for acquiring six condominium sites in Irvine. The units would be available as rentals to households earning up to 30%, or in some cases up to 50%, of median income for the area.

Plaza Savings & Loan of Santa Ana will receive $9,499 to fund Community Housing's acquisition and rehabilitation of 20 rental apartments for low-income large families in Garden Grove.

First Nationwide Bank in San Francisco will get $21,000 to help the Civic Center Barrio Housing Corp. in Santa Ana build six condominiums for very low-income families to lease with an option to buy.

In addition, Plaza Savings and 22 other thrifts will share in a $1.3-million grant to the Savings Assns. Mortgage Co. for projects to be identified by SAMCO.

The San Francisco district bank is funding the great majority of the nation's affordable housing projects. The bank's $12.1 million in first-round subsidies is more than 25% of the $47.2 million provided by all 12 district banks. Its money will be used to provide 5,514 housing units. The bank is taking applications through August for $8 million in funding that will be offered later this year. It will then hold two competitions a year, one in January and one in July.

--Compiled by James S. Granelli, Times staff writer

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