Last month, Governor Newsom announced $125 million in new funding for the construction of veterans supportive housing developments across the State of California - more than half of which will go toward new projects in Los Angeles County.
The money, which was distributed as part of the sixth funding round of the Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention Program, will go to 12 different developers and facilitate the construction of 16 projects containing a combined total of 861 residential units - including rental apartments, permanent supportive housing, and transitional housing.
One of the biggest Los Angeles area recipients of funding is Little Tokyo Service Center, which secured $15.5 million for the construction of its First Street North Apartments adjacent to the Japanese American National Museum. The project, approved earlier this year by the Los Angeles City Council, will be constructed in phases and eventually include 245 apartments - half of which will be reserved for veterans at risk of homelessness.
“This part of town has always been the heart of Little Tokyo,” said Takao Suzuki, Little Tokyo Service Center's director of community development. "Because of gentrification, it feels like we have significantly less dedicated spaces for legacy businesses. With the increased anti-Asian sentiment taking place in America due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we feel that having a more positive and visible project is a good way to pay tribute and assert our presence in our community. Telling the story of [First Street North] allows us to weave in a narrative that educates and challenges what we’re going through as a community.”
In addition to housing, the First Street North apartments will also include 40,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space reserved for legacy small businesses, as well as arts and cultural spaces catering to the neighboring Union Center for the Arts and the a permanent exhibition space for Go For Broke.
In total, eight projects in Los Angeles County received funding, with just over $73 million in grant funds going toward the construction of 313 housing units.
The other Los Angeles County projects include:
- MacArthur Field A ($15 million) - A two-phase project from The Core Companies that would bring 150 homes to MacArthur Field at the Los Angeles VA Campus. Construction is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2022.
- West LA VA - Building 404 ($15 million) -Century Housing plans to convert an existing structure on the VA Campus into 73 apartments.
- QCK Apartments ($4.6 million) - Kingdom Development Inc. is planning a 36-unit apartment complex at 4856 West Avenue in the Quartz Hill community of the Antelope Valley.
- U.S.VETS Building 300 Wellness Center ($9.6 million) - The U.S. Veterans Initiative will convert an existing structure to house supportive services.
- The Steps on St. Andrews ($5.1 million) - Clifford Beers Housing plans 20 supportive housing units at 1808 S. St. Andrews Place in Harvard Heights.
- Huntington Square ($8.4 million) - A Community of Friends is planning a 55-unit supportive housing complex in the unincorporated community of Huntington Park.