On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will vote on allocating more than $43.6 million in loans to developers for affordable housing projects in Skid Row, East Los Angeles and more locations around the county.
The money, which would come out of County Affordable Housing Funds, Mental Health Housing Funds and Homeless Service Funds, would go to nine affordable housing developments. The developments that could receive loans are: Vistas del Puerto and The Spark at Midtown in Long Beach, Westmont Vista in Westmont, Whittier Place Apartments Phase II in East Los Angeles, Willowbrook 2 in Willowbrook, The Pointe on Vermont in University Park, SP7 in Skid Row, PATH Villas in South Gate and Kensington Campus in Lancaster.
The developments, which were approved last year, will target tenants who make less than $50,500 per year, and will have units set aside for those currently homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Some, like Long Beach’s The Spark at Midtown, will also feature ground floor commercial space.
According to a report by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, annual funding for homelessness programs fell short by $73 million last year, and providing housing for the chronically homeless would require more than 20,000 new units. Two years ago, that estimate was only 15,000, the report said.
But Peter Lynn, executive director of the homeless authority, told the Los Angeles Times that things aren’t as bad as they look. Homelessness initiatives are only just gearing up, and new funding from two tax measures approved by LA voters, Proposition HHH and Measure H, is only just being received.
“There are very serious dollars behind filling that [housing] gap,” Lynn said.