Guadalupe, Arizona, is a small town between Phoenix and Tempe. With a little over 6,000 people, most of whom are Hispanic or Native American, the area is home to a cultural vibrancy that shows in its churches, murals, festivals and even its cemeteries. Pictured above, Yaqui Indian and Mexican Catholic churches attract large crowds of worshippers from the community.
The area is both culturally vibrant as well as economically disadvantaged. Nearly 27 percent of Guadalupe households are under the poverty line, and the median household income is less than $31,000. Compounding the problem, a tight housing market with few affordable options forces many residents to find less expensive alternatives away from Guadalupe.
In 2012, Nuestra Senora became the first (and remains the only) affordable multifamily housing development in the area. With 72 well-designed homes targeted to people earning between 40 and 60 percent Area Median Income (AMI), the development’s been fully occupied since opening and retains a long waiting list.
Along with two parking spots for each apartment, Nuestra Senora features numerous amenities, including a large community room, a computer room, a basketball court, a playground, and picnic and barbecue area. Two-year resident Mark Timar (pictured) stands behind a book exchange program, available daily outside of the rental office.
Born and raised in Guadalupe, Marcela Vega has lived at Nuestra Senora since 2015 after adopting her grandchildren. “I don't know where I would be without my home,” she says. “I had to find a place where I could be with the kids, a safe place where I could say, ‘This is my home.’ The kids know it too, because they say, ‘Oh, it's good to be home,’ when we come back from a walk.” Read Marcela’s story in her own words.
A 20-minute drive from Phoenix and Tempe, the development is well-located, with walking access to a bus stop, an elementary school, a mall and other shops.
The commitment of the Guadalupe Community Development Corp. board of directors (pictured above) has been instrumental in Nuestra Senora's success, as has the property management team, Tiempo.
“One of the things our board emphasizes is that this development is going to be here a long time,” says Gary Smith, executive director of the development corp. “We need to keep it clean, make it family friendly, and stay on top of it and have a quality, long-term development."
Most of the Guadalupe Community Development Corp. board members are residents with deep roots in the area. Executive director assistant, Christina Campoy, sits at the gravesite of her uncle in one of the nearby Yaqui Indian cemeteries.
Enterprise remains a proud contributor to the long-term success of Nuestra Senora. Having providing financing during the construction phase, we remain an active partner in the development’s sustainability.
- Equity: $8.8 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity (American Express was the investor)
- Debt: $1.3 million loan from Enterprise Community Loan Fund
- Transit accessible: A bus stop is walking distance a few blocks away.
- Asset management: Through site visits and regular analysis of financial performance, our Asset Management team helps ensure a consistent quality of life for the residents.
- Rural and Native American: Numerous Enterprise reports discuss the sustainability of Rural and Native American Housing.