Santa Paula Times

Santa Paula Church Sponsors Prototype Retirement Project

March 07, 2003
Santa Paula News
By Genevieve Branco Santa Paula TimesA new non-profit Retirement Community is expected to break ground in 6 months here in Santa Paula. Sponsored by First Christian Church of Santa Paula, “Santa Paula on the Green” will be the first non profit community of its kind to be developed in the State of California.What makes this project so unique is that after paying a guaranteed entrance fee, seniors can maintain a lifetime lease of their unit by paying a monthly amount that reflects only the costs of maintaining the unit on a non-profit basis.Earl McPhail, Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner, Santa Paula Resident, and a representative from First Christian Church of Santa Paula said, “Sponsoring this project is a good way to show that First Christian Church cares about Santa Paula. The project targets middle-income seniors, and we believe there is a great need for this type of housing in our community.”Santa Paula on the Green will be a 53 unit, 3 story residential retirement community, located in the now vacant lot on the corner of Main Street and Dean Drive. There are 1 and 2 bedroom units available, each with key card entry, secure parking, and wheelchair accessibility. The entrance fee, which is estimated to be half the cost of building the unit, is completely refundable in the event that the senior resident finds he must move out. The monthly costs are not refundable, but include all grounds maintenance, real estate property taxes, liability insurance, free replacement of major appliances for life, and some utilities. For example, a 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 974 sq. ft. unit has an entrance fee of $87,000, and a monthly fee of $1098.The project is being financed by “Life Lease Corporation of California,” which is headed by Bob Banman. It was his long term friendship with Earl McPhail that got First Christian Church involved in the first place. Banman and Life Lease Corporation have helped numerous non-profit organizations sponsor housing development for seniors in Canada already. According to Carol Moody-MacComb, Pastor of First Christian Church of Santa Paula, “Bob [Banman] sees this as his ministry.”
First Christian Church, a Disciples of Christ Congregation, started a 501C3 non-profit foundation in order to sponsor this project. According to McPhail, “The foundation and church are completely separate, therefore ensuring that finances from the church will not be impacted if something happens to the project, and visa versa.” The foundation will be run by a board, which will consist of church members, Santa Paula residents, and at least two residents of the complex. The goal of the board will be to keep costs low for residents, McPhail said.Advertising efforts for this project are being concentrated in Santa Paula and West Ventura County, targeting older, empty nest homeowners who have equity in their homes, of which a portion can be invested and who desire a simplified lifestyle in a safe living environment. According to Gary Nasalroad, Public Relations Officer for the project and resident of Santa Paula, “By offering these units first to current Santa Paula homeowners, it could free up additional housing for younger families in this area.”Santa Paula on the Green will break ground as soon as 80% of the units have been reserved with a $500 required deposit, which is expected to happen within 6 months. Pastor Moody-MacComb would like the community to know, “After prayerful consideration, as the Pastor of First Christian Church of Santa Paula, I have chosen to support this project and hope that some of you might even be interested in looking at what they have to offer.”For further information, contact Margaret Burleson-Turner, Project Officer, at (805) 525-2355.