Western Community Housing, Inc., a leading owner and developer of quality affordable multifamily residential communities in California, is pleased to announce that Graham P. Espley-Jones, President of Western Community Housing, has been named 2011 SAGE "Person of the Year" by the 55+ Housing Council, a special interest council of the Building Industry Association of Southern California. This prestigious award honors an individual for their commitment, personal compassion and outstanding professional contributions to housing and related services to Southern California’s 55+ residents.
Espley-Jones has been involved in senior and affordable housing communities for over three decades and has been widely acknowledged for his financial expertise and acumen crossing two distinct market sectors -- affordable senior apartments and assisted living (“service enhanced”). Espley-Jones' broad connections throughout the senior housing industry have resulted in an impressive record of public-private partnering and mentoring in the course of developing over 10,000 housing units for seniors.
John Huskey, President of Meta Housing Corporation in Los Angeles, Calif., notes, “Graham is the most versatile and complete player in the senior housing world. His thoroughness and commitment to seeing the mission accomplished extending from the finest detail to the big picture has made its mark on the affordable and senior housing industry. The number of people and firms affected by his expertise constitutes a majority of all the players in Southern California's senior housing industry.”
Vicki Clark, a past president of the 55+ Housing Council and a Board Member of Western added, “I have found Graham’s integrity, intelligence, technical competence, and capacity for learning and adopting new concepts very quickly to be extremely unique and refreshing. The lives of hundreds of professionals and tens of thousands of senior residents have been greatly enriched by his efforts.”
Under his direction over the past nine years, Espley-Jones has overseen Western’s growth of its affordable housing portfolio from ownership interests in five affordable communities to more than 80 communities. Of these communities, 29 are targeted to senior occupancy only and total 2,758 units with approximately 3,300 residents. Western’s development partners include Highridge Costa Housing Partners, Meta Housing Corporation, Wasatch Advantage Group, Urban Housing Communities, Steadfast Companies, Palm Communities and others equally respected for their experience and innovation in creating communities where Southern California seniors can live and thrive.
Western’s communities have been awarded over $850 million dollars in tax credits and other funding designated for affordable housing. In 2010, Western was one of 23 organizations (of 230 applicants nationwide) awarded grants to help finance affordable housing under the Treasury’s new Capital Magnet Fund. Western will leverage its $5 million grant to preserve, rehabilitate or develop affordable housing communities. Western was also the recipient of a $10 million Neighborhood Stabilization Grant from the Department of Housing and Community Development in 2011 that it used to purchase and rehabilitate a foreclosed, partially completed 70-unit senior affordable community located in Los Angeles.
Espley-Jones began his career in senior and affordable housing at ARV Assisted Living, where he served for 10 years as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. During his tenure at ARV, the assisted living division developed and/or acquired over 60 assisted living communities comprising approximately 7,000 units and the affordable housing division developed and/or acquired 22 apartment communities containing approximately 2,000 units. Espley-Jones also served as the Chief Financial Officer of Kaufman & Broad Multi-Housing Group, Inc. (now Highridge Costa Housing Partners), a leading investor and developer of senior and family affordable communities, and as Chief Financial Officer of the Meyers Group, a real estate information and consulting company specializing in the housing industry.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors for EngAGE (honored as the 2003 SAGE “Program of the Year”), whose mission is to provide life-enhancing programs to low and moderate income seniors living in affordable apartment communities. Espley-Jones is a member and supporter of The Kennedy Commission (Affordable Housing Advocacy) as well as the BIA and 55+ Housing Council (Director, 2003-2004).
Espley-Jones will be honored at the 17th Annual 55+ Housing Council Sage Awards dinner on November 3, 2011 at The Turnip Rose, Grand Newport Plaza in Costa Mesa, California. The event begins at 6:00 p.m. For more information about this event, visit 55socal.com. To register, call (949) 553-9500 or email pnearhoff[.]biasc.org.
About 55+ Housing Council
For over 20 years, the 55+ Housing Council has provided networking, education and partnering prospects for Southern California professionals involved in every aspect of building housing specifically for persons aged 55+ − active adult, “age-targeted,” age-qualified apartments and condominiums, CCRC’s, Assisted Living, Alzheimer’s care and more.
Established in 1923, the Building Industry Association of Southern California (BIA/SC) is a non-profit trade association representing more than 1,350 companies involved in planning and building Southern California’s neighborhoods and communities. Members are involved in all aspects of the building industry, from architecture and green building to roofing and general contracting.
About Western Community Housing, Inc.
Western Community Housing is a California non-profit public benefit corporation that was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Costa Mesa, California. Western also maintains a regional office in Los Angeles. Western's mission is to provide affordable housing and social service programs to low and moderate income families and seniors residing in affordable rental communities. By partnering with local governments, for-profit developers, lenders, syndicators and corporate investors, Western and its affiliates currently have an ownership interest in 80 affordable communities located primarily in California containing over 8,000 units that provide affordable housing to over 20,000 seniors and families.