In a 14-0 vote taken earlier this week, the Los Angeles City Council approved the allocation of $25 million in funding to a trio of Measure HHH challenge projects.
The HHH Challenge, which was announced in January 2019, earmarks $120 million from the $1.2-billion bond measure for supportive housing developments that can be built faster and at lower cost than typical affordable housing projects. A team consisting of developers Abode Communities, Mercy Housing, and LA Family Housing was awarded roughly $40 million through the program, which will go toward the construction of at least 360 new homes.
The three new projects, located in Harbor City and the San Fernando Valley, include:
Western Avenue PSH
The collective's Western Avenue development would consist of a three-to-four-story building consisting of 77 affordable housing units for persons experiencing homelessness and one manager's unit. The building, which would be composed of stacked modular units, is slated for a three-parcel site located at 25820 S. Western Avenue.
According to a staff report, the apartments will consist entirely of studio units. A Measure HHH allocation of nearly $8.1 million will go toward an overall project budget of approximately $36.7 million - or roughly $470,000 per unit.
Construction is currently expected to begin in November 2022 and conclude in January 2024.
Slated for a property located at 21300 Devonshire Street in Chatsworth, the proposed development calls for the construction of a four-story modular apartment building consisting of 99 apartments for unhoused persons and one manager's unit. As with its Western Avenue counterpart, the project would consist entirely of studio units - save for a two-bedroom manager's apartments.
Rents would be priced for households earning at or below 30 and 50 percent of the area median income.
The total Measure HHH allocation for the project is $10.4 million, contributing to a total budget of $43 million. The estimated per-unit cost of the Devonshire project is $430,000.
Construction is expected to begin by November 2022 and conclude approximately one year later.
The Devonshire project has found itself as a bit player in an ongoing controversy over the development of permanent supportive housing in Los Angeles City Council District 12 - where there have been no Measure HHH projects built yet. The only proposal in active entitlement proceedings - Affirmed Housing's 55-unit Topanga Apartments - has faced opposition from Councilmember John Lee, who recently introduced a motion seeking to strip the project's Measure HHH funding and reallocate the money toward the Devonshire development.
Sherman Way PSH
The third project, slated for a property at 18722 Sherman Way in Reseda, calls for the construction of another four-story modular building containing 63 apartments for persons experiencing homelessness. The apartments would consist entirely of studio units, priced for households earning from 30 to 50 percent of the area median income level.
The $6.6 million in HHH funding for the project would contribute to an overall budget of $29.2 million, or approximately $457,000 per unit.
As with the Devonshire project, construction is expected to begin in November 2022 and conclude by November 2023.
The vote by the Council also allocated Measure HHH funding toward the acquisition of properties through the statewide Project Homekey program, as well as existing Measure HHH projects that have seen cost increases during the course of construction.
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