Success Story
Release No.STELPRD4021772
, Jul 11, 2013 --

Outline Of Need:

Sunrise Estates Apartments, constructed by long-time business and civic leaders Ray and Gloria Schultens, has been providing affordable rental housing for working families in The Dalles, Oregon, since 1977. Over the years, however, the apartment complex fell into poor condition and was in danger of losing its low income housing tax credits and closing its doors for good.

How Rural Development Helped:

The current property owner, Guardian Real Estate Services, LLC worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development and other partners to develop a financing package to renovate the existing 60 apartment homes. As part of this package, Guardian Real Estate Services, LLC assumed a $1.1 million Rural Development Rural Rental Housing loan. They were then able to replace the windows, doors, roofing, and siding. Each apartment home received new flooring, energy-efficient appliances, and new cabinets. The walkways, parking lot, and several units were brought up to Americans with Disabilities Act standards for handicap accessibility. The playground, garden beds, and laundry facilities were also updated to give working families a supportive environment to help them keep moving forward and to help their children thrive.

In addition, Rural Development provides rental assistance to 47 low-income families who currently live at this apartment complex, allowing their rent to remain at 30 percent of their income.

The Results:

The extensive remodel transformed Sunrise Estates Apartments into an attractive home for working families in this rural eastern Oregon town.

“It’s had a positive impact on my life,” said Janice Wilkins, a resident at Sunrise Estates for the past 12 years. “It’s the most beautiful complex in the area now. It’s a happier place to live.”

“And it gives you peace of mind,” chimed in another long-time resident, Dona Seibel.

The apartment complex was able to retain its low income housing tax credits, keeping the rent payments affordable for the 80 families that now call Sunrise Estates home. The renovations also improved the energy efficiency of the apartment homes, reducing each family’s monthly expenses.

“The new windows made a huge difference with our electric bill,” said Wilkins. “We used to pay $50 a month, but ever since they finished the remodel, our bill has dropped to $20 a month.”

She concluded by saying, “It’s given me a whole new outlook. I’m proud to live here.”

Fast Facts:

Program: Section 515 Rural Rental Housing Program

Investment: $1,128,923 loan funds

Additional Funding: Existing Reserves: $91,322

Low Income Housing Tax Credits: $4,555,478

First Republic Bank: $1,250,000

Housing Trust Fund: $60,843

Partners: Guardian Real Estate Services, LLC; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Oregon Housing and Community Services; Myhre Group Architects; LMC Construction; WNC


    · Maintained 60 units of safe, affordable rental housing for rural working families.

    · Created 55 temporary jobs in construction and architecture.

    · Reduced the energy bill for each household an average of $30 per month.