Category Archives: Housing

Bridge Housing structure

Bridge Housing Coming to Van Nuys

Late October 2019 Councilmember Krekorian sponsored a motion to build additional bridge housing in CD2. The site is 7700-7798 Van Nuys Boulevard, which includes part of a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power storage and maintenance yard and an adjacent parking lot owned by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.

Initially they considered a different location but in consulting with the community determined that this stretch of Van Nuys Boulevard was a preferred site, which offers better access to transit opportunities. Krekorian thanked the community for working with them and supporting the project.

The site can accommodate beds for 100 individuals. It was selected in partnership with the local community, has community support, and is connected to the Van Nuys Transit Hub served by Amtrak buses and trains. The site has storage space for residents, personal hygiene and laundry facilities, supportive and community engagement services, and 24-hour security.

In combination with 85 beds at the Raymer bridge housing site, which is scheduled to open in the first part of next year, completion of the new facility would mean that CD2 will have 185 beds under the program A Bridge Home. Efforts are continuing to find additional sites to house the district’s unsheltered population.

The Van Nuys Boulevard site will be primarily funded with grant money from the State of California. Krekorian’s motion provides for funds to complete project design and purchase the tension membrane structure and modular trailers.

The goal, of course, is to move these tenants into permanent supportive housing, which in the end is the solution to our homelessness crisis.

43rd Program Year (PY) of the Housing and Community Development Consolidated Plan – Fifth Year Action Plan (2017-2018)

43rd Program Year (PY) of the Housing and Community Development Consolidated Plan – Fifth Year Action Plan (2017-2018)

As Los Angeles’ economy continues to surge with job growth and new businesses, we will continue to strategically deploy City resources to improve the livability and sustainability of our neighborhoods, investing in the people of our city to create a better Los Angeles. It is particularly critical that low- and moderate-income communities have access to all available economic opportunities. The budget for the consolidated plan has been developed to achieve the primary objective of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for the development of urban communities of providing decent housing and suitable living environments, and to expand economic opportunity for all City residents.

The City of Los Angeles receives four entitlement grants: (1) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG); (2) HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME); (3) Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG); and (4) Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA). These entitlements comprise the City’s Consolidated Plan, a comprehensive, integrated approach to planning and implementing the City’s housing, community development, and economic development needs and priorities.

The Consolidated Plan consists of more than $89.6 million in annual allocations of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME}, and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) grant funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The City’s 43rd Program Year (PY) 2016-17 Annual Action Plan (Action Plan) continues to make investments that provide decent housing, a suitable living environment, and expanded economic opportunities. (Click here to continue reading)

Recap of Neighborhood Council Homelessness Liaisons Inaugural Meeting

homelessness-liaisons-meeting

Recap of Neighborhood Council Homelessness Liaisons Inaugural Meeting

Over 100 Neighborhood Council leaders participated in the initial meeting of the Homelessness Liaisons at the Board of Public Works Meeting on Wednesday, November 30. Thank you so much to Rachel Brashier of Councilmember Harris-Dawson’s office, Alisa Orduna of the Mayor’s Office, and Meg Barclay, Homelessness Coordinator of the Office of the City Administrative Officer for sharing their insights and best practices of how Neighborhood Councils can address homelessness.

Many Neighborhood Council board members shared best practices and insights in how to address the homelessness crisis in their respective communities. Integrating Neighborhood Council Homelessness Liaisons and advocates into conversations addressing the City’s homelessness crisis will help provide additional services and opportunities to end homelessness one person at a time. Homelessness advocates would relay information to their respective Neighborhood Councils during the monthly board meeting for further action. Homelessness liaisons would also be encouraged to provide opportunities and forums on how to address the homelessness crisis and encourage Neighborhood Councils to collaborate and partner with non-profit organizations who provide services to the homeless population. Thank you to Board of Neighborhood Commissioner Eli Lipmen for attending the meeting.

Bassett Park Weather Shelter Now Activated

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Bassett Park Shelter Location Now Open

Los Angeles, CA (November 30, 2016) The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority announces the immediate opening of Bassett Park due to cold and wet weather conditions. Bassett Park, located at 510 Vineland Avenue, La Puente, CA 91746, will remain open until December 8th and is accepting clients in need of shelter. Warm meals and pet accommodations are provided. Doors open at 6pm or, when rain occurs, will be open for a 24 hour period. Click here and here  for more information and transportation options available.

The following Winter Shelter Programs will also be open as of December 1, 2016:
  • BELL
  • EAST SAN GABRIEL VALLEY
  • HIGHLAND PARK
  • LANCASTER
  • SANTA CLARITA
  • SKID ROW
  • SOUTH LOS ANGELES
  • SYLMAR
  • WEST LOS ANGELES

Shelters in Lancaster and Santa Clarita opened November 24. Shelters in Pacoima, Long Beach, and Pomona will open later in December.  All Winter Shelter Programs will remain open until March 1, 2017. Please check LAHSA’s Winter Shelter Program webpage for shelter locations and transportation schedule. Please check the website often for updates regarding shelter opening dates. You can also call the winter shelter hotline at 1-800-548-6047 or call 211.

Winter shelters provide shelter, warmth, food and comfort to homeless individuals during the cold and wet weather season. In addition to temporary emergency shelter, each program location provides access to supportive services and housing assistance. More than 1,400 beds will be available during the 2016-2017 Winter Shelter Program season across the City and County of Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority coordinates the Winter Shelter Program in partnership with the California National Guard, the County of Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles.

For media inquiries contact Tom Waldman at 

twaldman@lahsa.org, O: 213-225-8491, C: 213-247-5726

Budget Advocates Meet with City Housing and Community Investment Department

Budget Advocates Meet with City Housing and Community Investment Department

By Connie Acosta, Echo Park Neighborhood Council Board Member

On Thursday, October 26, Budget Advocate Barbara Ringuette from Silver Lake Neighborhood Council (NC) with members of her Housing Committee— Rick Ramirez from Sunland-Tujunga (NC) and Connie Acosta from Echo Park NC— met with the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department (HCIDLA) to inquire about the outlook on revenue for affordable housing for fiscal year 2017-18. The following is a brief summary of the meeting.

“Nationally, Los Angeles is the most rent-burdened place to live in the country,” commented HCIDLA Executive Officer, Laura K. Guglielmo.
“There’s a mismatch between what people earn and what they spend for rent in this city; they’re paying more than 50% of their earnings for rent,” said Ms. Guglielmo. “At some time, it will restrict the workforce. We have to make a choice to improve the problem.”

Housing Development Bureau
Assistant General Manager Helmi Hisserich said that she doesn’t want to view development as a ‘piggy bank’. On the other hand, Ms. Hisserich finds that development that creates an impact for the need of affordable housing, “it’s only appropriate for it to help support that need.”
“We want to be mindful that every time the city puts a fee on development, it affects the cost of development,” she said.

Linkage Fee

The linkage fee will contribute about 30 million or less to affordable housing, and the benefit of that will vary upon the amount of development since it’s tied to the market trend, Hisserich said. “It’s a revenue stream that has the potential of growing through time.”

Guglielmo elaborated that large development having a housing impact will pay a Linkage Fee. Say, a developer is building a skyscraper or stadium and employing many workers at minimum wage, who cannot afford to live in Los Angeles. Then, that developer is creating a demand for affordable housing, and development now has to create a resource, though normally the people [taxpayers] would be paying for it [through public subsidies].

Guglielmo re-stated that it’s a link between development and affordable housing. If a developer is employing workers who are earning at, or below the area’s median income such as a household of four is earning $50,000 or less, the developer is contributing to the need for affordable housing.

“With a linkage fee we create affordable housing,” she said.

Assistant general manager Luz Santiago said that HCIDLA is presently working on a study with the Department of City Planning. “The team is looking at the various types of developments, their relative contributions to affordable housing and trying to find a balance. Perhaps they’ll consider the square footage of a development to calculate the fee.” Soon the team will present a proposal to the Mayor regarding the Linkage Fee, she said.

Cap-and-Trade Program

The Affordable Housing Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Program is statewide under the Cap-and-trade spending plan which provides revenue generated from the permits sold to industrial polluters in California. Proposals for funding must be used solely for projects that reduce carbon emissions.

HCIDLA with a group of developers submitted a funding proposal, for the competitive grant, requesting about $75 million to be used for affordable housing linked to transportation. “We were awarded $64 million. We’ll continue to apply for affordable housing grants though the total cap-and-trade fund seems to be declining,” said Guglielmo.

“Affordable housing is linked to transportation. Getting people out of their cars, reducing vehicle-miles traveled is a single biggest way to decrease carbon emissions,” said Guglielmo. “Lower income families tend to eliminate cars when living near public transit resulting in a higher reduction of carbon emissions.”

Ms. Santiago said that HCIDLA is getting ready to submit a proposal requesting a position for fiscal year 2017-2018 to coordinate the application of the cap-and –trade grant with multiple city departments— Department of Transportation, Department of City Planning, LA County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), and Bureau of Street Services.

Preserving Affordable Housing

‘The objective of the HCIDLA Recapitalization policy is to preserve affordable housing through the extension of the time period of affordability covenants,” as per CF 16-0085 adopted 2/03/16.

Affordable housing is linked to a covenant “where the occupancy is restricted to households with income equal to or less than a specific income level,” said Hisserich. A covenant may fall into one of two categories. The first category “is a big concern to us” she said. “There are 13,000 existing affordable units with covenants that will be expiring in the next 5 years. A lot of these units we inherited from the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (CRA) that closed down.” HCID has a proactive team of two who are doing outreach to owners to extent the affordability. When the covenants on the units expire they could be rented at market rate.” HCID offers assistance with refinancing or rehabilitation of the physical building. Covenants are legal bindings that are tied to the property for 50 years.

The second category of affordable housing is less of a focus for HCID. Presently the department has 20-Recaps [affordable housing projects with loans for capital improvements] in the queue, explained Hisserich. “These are not at risk of converting into market rate anytime soon. Through a needs assessment, review, and evaluation of certain affordable housing developments, we offer financial assistance with city funds and tax exempt bonds. It varies from project to project.” Then if a property owner needs funding to renovate or repair units, we provide them with the capital to renovate resulting in a capital cost, she said. “Every time we do substantial capital improvements we extend the covenant another 50 years to provide affordable housing. We become financial partners, using public funds and bonds,” she said.

Guglielmo explained that housing under the Rent Stabilized Ordinance (RSO) is rent stabilized housing and not necessarily affordable because an RSO property might not be under the restrictions of a covenant. RSO units could be renting at market rate.

LAUSD Partnership

HCIDLA manages 13 Family Source Centers in the city. It’s a 50/50 dollar-partnership with LAUSD where $1Million comes out of the city’s general fund. Through LAUSD-PSA, teachers work with students whose families are at risk. “We address the family side,” said Guglielmo. And added that HCID is broadening their relationship with LA County to increase the funding for the Family Source Centers with social workers and mental health services, including domestic violence. In summary, she said, our Family Resource Centers are, “A one stop shop.”

Health Department Vouchers

The County Health Department has recently put millions of dollars into a new voucher program to assist the homeless that are in county hospitals or facilities, said Guglielmo. “It’s been very valuable.” The vouchers are worth a $1,000 a month in rental subsidy as long as the rental unit is in an area with access to a healthcare facility, she said. This reduces the cost of “keeping them [the homeless] in a county hospital costing a $1,000 per day,” said Hisserich. “There have been a lot of people who are benefiting from this program. We’re coordinating with the use of these vouchers.”

“Vouchers alone aren’t the solution. They are only part of the solution because a person may have a voucher but have no place to go,” she said.

Budget Advocate Barbara Ringuette commented that she is hopeful substantial additional affordable housing will be built in Los Angeles and that existing resources will be maintained.

Ms. Ringuette added, “My concerns are the enforceability of existing and new housing covenants and mitigating the impacts that increased density, height, and parking can bring to our neighborhoods.”

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