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Posted on: May 13, 2022

The City of Lake Forest Breaks Ground at the Portola Senior Apartments

Portola Senior Apartments image

LAKE FOREST, Calif. – May 13, 2022 – The City of Lake Forest, in partnership with affordable housing developer Community HousingWorks and master developer Sun Ranch Capital Partners, broke ground at the Portola Senior Apartments (931 Portola Oaks Drive, Lake Forest, CA) on Friday, May 13, at 10 a.m.

The event took place just two months after the groundbreaking at Lake Forest's Mountain View Affordable Housing Community. Lake Forest Mayor Robert Pequeno, Council Member Mark Tettemer, Council Member Neeki Moatazedi, City Manager Debra Rose, and Community HousingWorks President and CEO Sean Spear were in attendance, among others. 

“The City of Lake Forest is proud to be a family community," said Lake Forest Mayor Robert Pequeno. “The Portola project, and others like it throughout the city, ensure that everyone – from young families starting out, to those of us enjoying our golden years – will always be able to call Lake Forest home.”

The Portola Senior Apartments are the city's first mixed-use project and part of the city's Portola Center Area Plan. It is Community HousingWorks' first affordable housing project in Orange County, out of their total 44 projects. The 1.94-acre project will provide long-term affordable housing apartments and service programs to low-income Lake Forest residents, and connect them to the greater community. The apartments are expected to be completed in the Fall of 2023. 

The project will provide 58 new affordable apartments in one building for seniors earning 50% of the Area Median Income. It will serve senior households 62+ years as couples, or individuals, in one-bedroom apartments with features to aid in aging-in-place. The project includes 58 residential surface parking spaces on-site, accessed by a driveway.

"The focus is on the well-being of the seniors, and it doesn't end when construction ends," said Donald Ambrose, Board Chair of Community HousingWorks.

Conveniently located at the southeast corner of Glenn Ranch Road and Saddleback Ranch Road, the project is within two miles of existing amenities, such as grocery stores, banks, public transit, and a senior community center. It's also near health care facilities, providing access to essential services for older adults. It is immediately adjacent to a park with walking trails that connect to the Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park.

“We’ve made it our mission to not just provide a roof over one’s head, but to identify how we can empower residents in each of our communities to attain financial and housing security and reach for their dreams,” said Sean Spear, president and CEO of Community HousingWorks. 

All units will include ADA-sized bathrooms and kitchens with 15 fully ADA accessible units. Site amenities include fully accessible common spaces, shared laundry, an outdoor plaza, and a community room with computer learning centers to encourage greater social and economic security. Additional support services will be offered to increase financial and housing stability, and overall wellness. Residents will have access to free public transportation passes, free in-unit high-speed internet, and 84 hours of adult education, health and wellness guidance, or skill-building classes per year.

"We remember the past and work with pride to meet the challenge of providing affordable homes for seniors in the future," said Mary Jagodzinski, Senior VP of Housing and Real Estate Development for Community HousingWorks. 

About Community HousingWorks

Founded in 1988, Community HousingWorks is a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that develops, rehabilitates, preserves, and operates affordable apartment communities in San Diego and throughout California. 

In addition to providing working families and seniors with stable homes in healthy communities, Community HousingWorks layers in powerful programs, services, and connections to resources. These tools help people attain financial stability, improve their health and overall well-being, and set school-age children up for success in the classroom and beyond. 

Community HousingWorks owns over 3,600 apartments in 42 communities statewide, serving more than 9,000 working families, children, and seniors. Community HousingWorks is an exemplary ranked member of the national NeighborWorks Network®, an award-winning affiliate of UnidosUS, and a member of the prestigious Housing Partnership Network. To learn more, visit 

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