In 1970 the construction of the 210 Freeway caused the demolition of over 1,000 homes resulting in a significant loss of affordable housing. To address this problem, the Westminster Presbyterian Church provided the seed money to establish a non-profit, the Westminster Housing Group I (WHG-I). Their goal was “to provide housing for lower income families and families displaced from urban renewal area, or as a result of governmental action, or as a result of a major disaster, where no adequate housing exists for such groups.” To fulfill this mission, the Westminster Housing Group I opted to own and have a professional property management company operate low-to-moderate income multi-family housing, purchasing two apartment complexes with 44 units.
In 2014, 45 years later, the mortgages had been paid off. The WHG-I Trustees decided to find new ownership and management, and to dissolve their non-profit. Under a HUD-approved sale, the complex was sold to a Southern California non-profit. The terms of the sale guaranteed that it would remain affordable housing for the next twenty years. Escrow closed in 2015.
In 2016, the WHG-I Trustees then developed a plan for the disbursement of its assets. The Pasadena Community Foundation is pleased and honored that it was selected to receive a portion of the assets to create a $3 million endowment. The fund will support the Westminster Presbyterian Church, an iconic building with its majestic French gothic cathedral in Pasadena. If someday the church is no longer operating as an independent entity, the funds will be used to support organizations providing low income housing or services to the homeless in the San Gabriel Valley.