Home LA Fund Donors are Instrumental in Increasing Affordable and Permanent Housing in LA County
February 10, 2023
By Sean Doss, Senior Program Officer, Housing
At CCF, I am tasked with implementing the foundation’s Accelerating Permanent Supportive Housing (“APSH”) Initiative where we have successfully empowered the ecosystem of housing stakeholders to house the chronically homeless. The Initiative has streamlined and lowered the barriers to housing development, advanced the development of innovative low-cost housing models, identified new funding sources for more housing development, and spurred the development of 1,000 affordable housing units per year providing economically challenged tenants with safe affordable homes.
This game-changing initiative is a significant deviation from where I was six years ago when I left the private sector and landed 2,500 miles across the country to my new residence steps away from Los Angeles’ Skid Row – ground zero for the homelessness crisis – to facilitate the City’s efforts in building the pipeline of supportive and affordable housing faster. As a resident of Downtown Los Angeles, I can provide a personal first-hand account of Los Angeles’ housing and homelessness challenges.
My daily routine includes jogging from DTLA through MacArthur Park, Koreatown, Skid Row, Arts District, and Little Tokyo neighborhoods where I witness some of the most inhumane and unsafe living conditions impacting unhoused Angelenos who need medical emergency attention. Historical federal, state, and local policy choices that promoted segregation and disinvestment in Black and Brown communities have fueled a broken system that produces affordable housing shortages and other adverse social and economic outcomes. Rental housing is unaffordable, even for some of the highest income earners. The conditions I witnessed in Skid Row now spread to every corner of the city. Every day, it seems as if society has normalized and rendered unhoused Angelenos invisible. According to the most recent homeless count data provided by Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, approximately 69,000 people in Los Angeles County are experiencing homelessness on any night.
However, there is a glimmer of hope. As I drive down the 110 highway and major east/west throughways, I see beautifully designed, innovative affordable and permanent supportive housing projects that were developed with funding by CCF and its supporters. One such project includes Beacon Landing, an 89-unit prefabricated modular supportive housing in San Pedro developed by Abode Communities. It is a visual confirmation that our housing work has come to fruition.
Housing unit production would not be possible without the generous philanthropic support from our Home LA Fund donors whose contributions are instrumental in housing policy, advocacy and legislative efforts to fund, streamline, and increase the amount of affordable and permanent supportive housing available to people experiencing homelessness. In addition, investments in our Home LA Loan Fund by CCF donors provide seed funding for housing developers like Abode Communities to get development projects off the ground. Our donors’ investments have leveraged over $174 million in financing the early-stage development of housing projects that will produce 3,311 homes for Angelenos and has attracted $1.6 billion in permanent public and private funding sources.
The new year brings new opportunities to build housing for our neighbors experiencing homelessness, and units that will prevent people from becoming homeless. The LA County Affordable Housing Solutions Agency (LACAHSA) and the recent passage of the City of LA’s Measure ULA – United to House LA – have created new pathways for a long-term sustainable funding source to produce more affordable housing in our communities. Moreover, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and our newly elected Mayor of Los Angeles Karen Bass also declared a state of emergency over the homelessness crisis. The focus on ending homelessness is an early indication of the heightened need for seed funding for housing development. The Home LA Loan Fund is uniquely positioned to provide competitive capital for permanent housing to get people off the street and make safe affordable housing for all a reality.
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