The Case for
Essential Housing

Essential - meaning something necessary, indispensable, or unavoidable.

Synonyms include fundamental, vital, cardinal.

- Merriam-Webster Dictionary

As rents and home values continue to drastically rise, middle-income tenants are increasingly unable to find affordable rental options.

Middle-income earners are largely comprised of teachers, nurses, librarians, bank tellers, first responders, university staff, and government employees. Our communities would crumble without them.

Known as “The Missing Middle”, these individuals and families earn above the “very low” and “low” Area Median Income (AMI) thresholds that would traditionally afford them rental assistance. However, due to skyrocketing housing costs, most median earners aren’t making enough to afford quality housing in the very communities they serve.

Historically, this segment of the community has been the most underserved from an affordable housing perspective, and this dislocation will continue to grow more severe as the cost of housing continues to increase.

Our innovative Essential Housing Program is helping solve the Nations middle-income affordable housing crisis.

People + Properties.

The honest, hardworking individuals and families who give our communities life deserve quality housing in the communities they tirelessly serve.

Hear from our tenants how the Essential Housing Program has affected them:

“I can feel myself smiling…The program has genuinely made being here so much better. I’m feeling my excitement for life again, especially after the pandemic…It just happened that they started the new program, which saves me a good couple hundred [per month], which is so relieving.”

-Nicole, Behavior Therapist at Westgate Apartments

“We’ve lost a good amount of teachers at our middle school that moved out of the city…I think what’s most important about a program like this is it does give housing security. And that’s what Long Beach needs- housing security.”

-Victoria, Middle School Teacher at Oceanaire

“It's important for programs like this to exist, just because people like me, they're in the middle-class range, if things end up being too expensive, then I think it makes it a lot more difficult for us to picture ourselves living in nicer communities. We have to either work extra just to afford the living or have to move really far in order to afford something convenient, something nice… I feel very fortunate that I found this program, because it's benefited me in so many ways.”

-Michelle, Respiratory Care Practitioner at Westgate Apartments

The “Missing Middle”

Why is the "Missing Middle" the most difficult segment to provide affordable housing for?

Simply put, rents are too high to make projects eligible for government subsidies, but too low to justify market-rate construction costs.

As a result, no affordable housing is constructed for median income households.


What is Essential Housing?
How do we convert a property to Essential Housing?

Essential Housing Partners

Case Study: The Paramount Platinum Triangle
Anaheim, CA

In February 2021, Waterford/CSCDA acquired Jefferson Platinum Triangle (since renamed “The Paramount”), a Class A, 400 unit community in Anaheim, CA.

Since the beginning of the leasing period at acquisition until November 2021, Waterford has successfully signed 150 new leases through the Essential Housing program at The Paramount.

By having The Paramount as an Essential Housing option in Anaheim, our residents are able to live comfortably within the city in which they work, saving an average of $1,129 in rent per month ($13,551/resident/year) when compared to the November 2021 rents of nearby market-rate communities.

As exhibited by the table below, one-bedroom rents have increased by an average of 31.6% over the past year at The Paramount’s closest comparable market-rate properties. Over the same period, Paramount’s 1-bedroom increased by only 1% due to the Waterford/CSCDA Essential Housing Program.


Data Provided By CoStar