Nearly half of the 64 units in a newly completed supportive housing project for seniors in the Arlington Heights neighborhood are reserved for formerly homeless low-income households.
The Gramercy Place Apartments, at 1856 S. Wilton Place, also includes about 2,500 square feet of retail space.
Of the 62 units for people 55 years old and over, 32 are set aside for formerly homeless households that earn at or below 50 percent and 60 percent of the area median income. Two units will be occupied by resident managers.
Residents will have a private outdoor patio. Each unit is also equipped with a refrigerator, garbage disposal, stove, range and central heat and air conditioning, with laundry rooms available onsite.
The building was designed by architect Kevin Daly and constructed by Walton Construction Inc.
“This is an example of the will of the voters in the city of Los Angeles,” said Sarah Letts, executive director of Hollywood Community Housing, which developed the project. The city’s Housing Department “provided Proposition HHH dollars to help finance this building,” she said.
Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas said the city of Los Angeles provided $14 million for construction and the county provided $5 million.
“When the city and the county work together, great things happen for the people of Los Angeles,” he said. “More of that, and you’ll see projects like this springing up with regularity.”
Additional funding for the project was provided U.S. Bank, Citibank, City National Bank and Federal Home Loan Bank San Francisco.
Supportive social services for residents will be provided by Housing Works and the Los Angeles County Health Services and Mental Health departments.
Ridley-Thomas has called for the city to establish a “Right to Housing” policy. In March, he proposed a motion, which was unanimously approved by the City Council, to have the city explore establishing the policy.
He reiterated that goal Monday.
“We have to understand that if we want to deal with the issue of homelessness … we have to build more and more projects just like the one we get to celebrate today and we do it with the appropriate services involved,” Ridley-Thomas said.
“We need to have housing now.” Mayor Eric Garcetti agreed. “Homes end homelessness. I join Councilmember Ridley-Thomas in this movement to make housing a human right.”
The mayor advocated for Section 8 vouchers to be expanded to be available for all who need them.
“It might sound expensive, but think of what we pay in criminal justice costs, what we spend in sanitation costs, what we spend on shelters. What we spend every single day is so much more expensive,” he said.