Thursday, April 17, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Apartment complex could see multimillion-dollar renovation

monument arms 2_12_14

The Monument Arms Apartments, on East Alaska Avenue in Fairfield, are going to be bought and renovated by Jamboree Housing Corp. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | February 13, 2014 | 12 Comments

FAIRFIELD — Jamboree Housing Corp. plans to use $12 million in bonds to buy and renovate the Monument Arms Apartments.

The 92-unit apartment complex is located at 261 E. Alaska Ave. in Fairfield. It was built in 1972.

“It’s in fairly decent condition, but we would bring it up to a higher standard,” said Vicky Ramirez, senior project manager for Irvine-based Jamboree.

Jamboree plans to paint the building, put on a new roof, install new cabinets, counters and other features and increase the energy efficiency by 10 percent, Ramirez said. Residents would be relocated for three to four days while work is done in their units, she said.

The organization wants to close its financing by June, then start work that will take nine to 10 months, she said.

But Jamboree Housing needed some local help for the project. It needed a local elected body to approve having the California Municipal Finance Authority issue tax-exempt bonds not to exceed $12 million.

Fairfield was the logical choice. But Jamboree has a deadline of Feb. 18 and the City Council has no meetings scheduled during that time frame.

City Manager Sean Quinn turned to the Solano County Board of Supervisors. He wrote a Feb. 5 letter to the county asking if it would hold the necessary Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 hearing to make the tax-exempt bond issue possible.

The Board of Supervisors did so Tuesday and granted unanimous approval.

Solano County is not financially responsible for the California Municipal Finance Authority bonds, county Treasurer Charles Lomeli told the Board of Supervisors. He noted the board on Sept. 10, 2013, approved allowing NorthBay Healthcare to seek $60 million in similar bond financing to pay for new equipment, building renovations and tenant improvements in leased buildings.

Jamboree is a nonprofit group that owns properties that are home to 15,000 Californians in 67 communities. Its self-described mission is to create opportunities for families, seniors and those with special needs for affordable housing and to provide responsive resident services and programs that improve the residents’ quality of life.

Monument Arms is a complex of two-story buildings amid lawn areas. In 2009, Monument Arms joined the city Police Department’s Crime Free Multi-Housing program to help limit gang activity and crime there.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or beberling@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.
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Discussion | 12 comments

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  • The MisterFebruary 13, 2014 - 6:43 am

    Logical question (not answered in the story, but should have been): If Solano County isn't responsible for the bonds, even though it is their vote that allows for them, then WHO is responsible, ultimately, for those bonds? Until there is an answer to this, it appears to be a shell game with the taxpayers holding the bag.

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  • Lynne CookFebruary 13, 2014 - 11:11 am

    Theres alot more here going on than anyone wants to admit. Being a tenant at Monument Arms for longer than anyone else has been here - I have lived through 4 different Managers and am on a subsidized income. Seeing as this is suppose to be a "non-profit" corporation - where do they have the right to evict totally decent tenants and expect us to live where??? 6 of us are being kicked out for no other reason than making too much! These apartments go according to your income, so I don't understand the validity of that. With new owners coming in, there are so many changes in the works also. The Manager is leaving, the assistant Manager is no longer "needed" and has to go. There were "2" Maintenance for the past 40 years and only 1 Maintenance now is going to be held accountable for all the units. Word on the street is that management and maintenance alike will be taking a serious pay cut. We were all gathered up in the rec room and given the news. Is there anybody out there that can help us? We need someone that has a VOICE that will be made to listen. Why uproot us and shuffle others into other apartments. Our lives are being totally destroyed. We have no additional family, and there are stories by each and every one that will be forced out of their apartments (homes). We pay our rent on time and have never had complaints. The apartments here have changed so much - it use to be such a happy place but now the curtains are coming down and doors are slamming in our faces. We are being forced to becoming homeless at their expense. But again as I mentioned earlier and as you can read in their article this is a "non-profit organization". They are the ones profiting but cutting jobs, wages and throwing the good tenants out. I have seen so many babies born, children growing up, going to college, getting married and still live here and now they have children. Where will they go? Do you care? I do hope you use your "bond" money wisely because these will no longer be able to be kept up to the standard at which they are now. They use to have back to school BBQ's for the children and festivities throughout the year to keep the moral up of the children and parents alike. Life is a struggle by itself, having to wonder where we're going to live is now going to be a tragedy.

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  • Lynne CookFebruary 13, 2014 - 11:19 am

    In addition to the lengthy opinion I previously wrote I went back and read just in the headlines that states: "Apartment complex could see multimillion-dollar renovation". What type of tenants are they trying to attract if they're getting rid of the ones that supposedly make to much now? I'm still not understanding how we are told we make to much when we were making the same amount we did as when we first came here. We are on subsidized low income and I haven't heard of anybody getting raises. Whats really going on???

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  • CD BrooksFebruary 13, 2014 - 3:51 pm

    Sorry no disrespect, but I don't understand the problem here? Do you a paper that contains specific language and implies you're being evicted? Seems like the company is making an honest effort to make your home better, how can that be a bad thing? BTW Ms. Cook, you said " I have seen so many babies born, children growing up, going to college, getting married and still live here and now they have children. Where will they go?" If yours is subsidized housing, why have they not moved on?

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  • LynneFebruary 14, 2014 - 6:21 am

    To CD Brooks - Yes we were all notified and given our "walking papers" to leave. It's wonderful they are updating the units, there's no issue about that. And the reason why some of the older children have married and remained in their "own" unit is because jobs are so scarce and housing costs are so expensive. Things will get worse if more companies come in like this and cut jobs and income which is being done. There will never be a way to succeed. There are some tenants that have been here for so long and have no family to leave anything to and never planned on leaving, now have no where to go.

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  • CD BrooksFebruary 14, 2014 - 6:32 am

    Lynne, the article clearly states you'll need to leave temporarily until the remodel is complete. In fact it reads “Residents would be relocated for three to four days while work is done in their units” sounds like they’re putting you up. Could it be you’ve misunderstood the process or has the company deliberately deceived the public? Curious.

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  • LynneFebruary 14, 2014 - 8:52 am

    No misunderstandings here - While some individuals will be shuffled into other units while there's is being re-vamped, again like I previously mentioned - they had a big meeting in the rec room, and only the ones who were being evicted were invited only to find out thats it for us. We have totally been deceived. We knew when the apartments went up for sale, of course we'd be having new management, but not being evicted.

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  • CD BrooksFebruary 14, 2014 - 9:36 am

    Wow, you've been there all those years and out you go! There must be something legally to prevent this?

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  • B. ThiemerFebruary 13, 2014 - 10:56 am

    another question: why the rush to get this tax exempt bond permission? Shouldn't the buyers have lined this funding plan up in adavnce of buying the complex?

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  • Danny BuntinFebruary 13, 2014 - 6:39 pm

    I'm curious about that as well. Being "Non-profit", does not make their intentions good by default. With that being said, they do have a very diverse Board of directors, and advisory board members. I would like the paper to follow up on the details of the transaction. Any time I hear the word "Bonds", it grabs my attention quickly.

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  • A Concerned TenantApril 13, 2014 - 9:50 pm

    I am one of the tenants that has not been asked to leave the premises permanently as I am considered low-income. My understanding is that 19 tenants have been asked to leave permanently as they are able to pay full rent and this complex is attempting to cater only to low income families that are incapable of doing so. However, for the last few days I have seen tenants that I have come to personally know, be forced to leave after many years of residence. Monument Arms used to be a place where your rent was based off your income and catered to disabled tenants. The people who have been made to leave are disabled and elderly! It is absurd! One woman I know has worked 3 jobs just to take care of her family and she is not a young woman. Why would this company displace so many of these people based off their incomes and not their physical abilities? Many of them have raised their children here and pay their rent on time. They are genuinely good people that should not have to uproot their families or be paid off to leave! I am deeply saddened that this is happening and even more so that I will have to uproot my family temporarily in order for this company to make the renovations that they deem necessary. I see this as a benefit but I also see this as a problem when many of us do not have alternate places to go or other family to lean on. I wish that the public new the stories that some of these families are facing; cancer victims, disabled vets having to leave their homes...It truly is criminal what is being done! The meaning of Monument Arms=where the people are monumental and welcomed with open arms. I can honestly say that it does not feel like that today.

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  • LynneApril 14, 2014 - 6:34 am

    Well finally the truth about this company is starting to come out! What the public probably doesn't know is that they are clearing the way from the tenants who pay on time, and have been there for years so PRISONERS whom are being released will get a new start on life. Are the kids going to be safe, are we going to have to get special alarms for our units. How can they throw someone with terminal cancer out on the street. This tenant can barely walk, and has no one to depend on to help them move out but yet has to leave. Another tenant of 20+ years was told to leave and has done so, to where I dont know, maybe the streets. The complex is and never was just for "low income". There were a number of units set aside for "low income" but the other units were standardized rent, some paying face value of $800.00. So all these x-prisoners will be housed now in your local areas next to schools with a roof over their head while there is a possibility of some of the elderly and others with children homeless on the streets. I believe everyone deserves the right to a "2nd chance on life", however why should the good people who've never done anything wrong deserve to be the first to be extradited from their homes. Thats what half way houses are for. Something fishy here, and have said it from the beginning. Wages have been cut drastically of those who are able to remain there working. Who wins?? THE PRISON GANG

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