Avenida, Los Angeles County’s latest Project Homekey for permanent supportive housing, is opening in the Koreatown/Rampart Village area with 75 studio apartments for people experiencing homelessness.
Holos Communities partnered with Los Angeles County to renovate the former hotel through Homekey 2.0, a program of the California State Housing Community Development Department that aims to bring together state, regional, and local public entities to develop a broad range of housing types for people experiencing homelessness. By utilizing existing hotels, motels, and other residential structures, Homekey provides a streamlined process dramatically reduced the time required to assemble capital and source land to expedite projects like Avenida, which was completed in 1/3 of the time and roughly 2/3 the cost of typical affordable housing developments today.
“I proudly welcome Avenida to the Third District, LA County’s first Homekey Round 2 Permanent Supportive Housing project to complete construction. The community offers an opportunity-rich location close to jobs, services, and regional transportation,” said Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath. “The State and County American Rescue Plan Act funds supported the capital project costs, and the County’s Department of Health Services is using Measure H funds to support onsite services that are essential to the long-term success of the residents.”
Among formerly homeless people who will reside at Avenida is Jason Neal, who described at the July 20 grand opening a life beset by drug addiction and crime before he decided to turn his life around and seek help. The first service provider he encountered was Peoples Concern, which is providing the on-site support services at Avenida.
As a rehab project located on the same block as an LA Metro stop, Avenida serves as an example of smart growth and environmental justice that leverages resources for an immediate solution. Rehabilitating existing properties reduces the embodied carbon associated with new construction and enables construction to be completed in a fraction of the time. Building housing adjacent to public transportation reduces the need for parking and helps residents access the rest of Los Angeles.
Cristian Ahumada, Holos Communities’ executive director, credited the extensive collaboration among local, county and state government agencies as well as more streamlined construction approval processes as the type of immediate solution urgently needed to resolve the current crisis.
“Avenida is the latest example of how government and nonprofits are working together and thinking outside the box to respond urgently to the crisis on our streets,” said Cheri Todoroff, Executive Director, Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative. “By investing both Homekey and Measure H funds into Avenida, we are making it much more than a roof over someone’s head. We are making it a home where residents can also get the wraparound services they need to thrive.”
More Homekey facilities are under construction in Los Angeles County under the second round of funding provided by the state and matched with Los Angeles County Measure H funding. The Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative is seeking additional funding under a third round from California to quickly open additional housing for people experiencing homeless.