Posted on 01/06/2020

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today celebrated the opening of 88th and Vermont, the first HHH-financed supportive housing development to be completed since the bond measure passed in 2016. The Mayor was joined at the ceremony by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Councilmember Herb Wesson, as well as numerous community leaders. 

“88th and Vermont is exactly what Angelenos had in mind when they said ‘yes’ to Prop HHH in 2016 — a clear marker of how we are coming together to confront the homelessness and housing crisis like never before, deliver services to our most vulnerable residents, and bring our unsheltered neighbors indoors,” said Mayor Garcetti. “This is the first of many HHH-funded projects set to welcome families inside, and today is proof that we are moving from renderings to reality and delivering the high-quality, permanent supportive units that unhoused Angelenos urgently need and deserve.”

Since taking office, Mayor Garcetti has acted with unprecedented urgency to confront the homelessness and housing crisis — from expanding the homelessness budget to 25 times what it was four years ago, to launching the A Bridge Home shelter program, which is getting unhoused Angelenos off the streets immediately while HHH-funded projects are built. Rather than relying exclusively on federal, state, or county dollars, Mayor Garcetti and the City Council came together in 2016 to create a local funding source to invest in the permanent, effective, and cost-efficient model of supportive housing for tackling and ultimately ending homelessness.

Mayor Garcetti led the coalition to pass Proposition HHH, a $1.2 billion bond designed to leverage financing to more than triple L.A.'s annual production of supportive housing and support the addition of 10,000 units for homeless Angelenos across the city. Since Proposition HHH passed in 2016, more than 118 permanent supportive housing developments have received funding commitments, 20 are in construction, and another 30 are expected to break ground this year. In addition, another 64 supportive housing units financed with other resources also completed construction this month.

“Today, we are finally beginning to deliver on the housing mandate the voters approved through Measure HHH in 2016,” said City Council President Nury Martinez. “Their support has allowed the City to approve more homeless housing in the last several years than in the previous 30 years. While we welcome the arrival of the first of thousands of more units to come, we know even more is required of us to address homelessness and we must act urgently and decisively.”

"I co-authored Proposition HHH to fund permanent solutions to the housing crisis," said Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson. “Permanent supportive housing helps residents access the support services necessary to thrive. As these developments come to life, unhoused people who need mental health services, social work, or other services can access them and rebuild their lives."

"We're going to stem this crisis by building supportive housing in every neighborhood throughout Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Herb Wesson. “The opening of 88th and Vermont represents a victory for Angelenos who overwhelmingly said yes to HHH and most importantly, for the folks whose lives these homes will change forever."

"Supportive housing in every district, along with mental health care and other life-saving services, are critical to helping people thrive instead of just exist on the margins," said Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell, who chairs the City's Homelessness and Poverty Committee. "Thank you, Councilmember Harris-Dawson and WORKS, for your efforts to expedite this project, which will add 60 units of housing for those with special needs in Los Angeles. I will continue to press state lawmakers to match our $1.2 billion investment to build 10,000 units of housing for the formerly homeless while we address the crisis locally."

Developed by Women Organizing Resources, Knowledge, and Services (WORKS) and Community Build Inc., the 88th and Vermont project broke ground in April 2018 and saw the first tenant move into the building in December 2019. Construction of the housing project generated more than 160 construction jobs.

The site features 46 permanent supportive housing units for transitional-aged youth (18-25 years), veterans, and households with special needs experiencing chronic homelessness. There are an additional 14 units for very low-income families and individuals, as well as two managers’ units. The LEED Gold Certified design also includes a youth and family support center that offers services to local youth through the Mayor’s Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD) program, and helps connect Angelenos with the job training and academic resources needed to secure employment or schooling.

“88th and Vermont has been decades in the making, which, along with other funding, was finally made possible because of HHH dollars,” said Channa Grace, President and Chief Executive Officer of WORKS. “WORKS, and our co-development partner, Community Build, are delighted that we are providing permanent supportive housing, housing for transition-aged youth, and housing for families with very low incomes along with a 9,500-square foot youth and family center — all less than a block from rapid transit. We are excited to provide what we believe is a truly holistic offering to a community that has often been overlooked and underserved.”

“As Chairperson of Community Build Inc., I am proud to build off of our 27 years of service to the community by bringing about the first of many catalytic projects that will energize and transform this community,” said Beverly Davis, chairperson and founding member of Community Build. “Our Partnership with WORKS demonstrates the value of like-minded individuals working in tandem with our electeds to benefit South Los Angeles.”

“The completion of this project demonstrates how the right partners can fast track turning hope into reality, and interjects life back into an area of the city that reflects the abundance and pride of years past,” said Robert Sausedo, President and CEO of Community Build.

Rents at the development range from $473 per month for a studio unit to $703 per month for a three-bedroom apartment. Rent subsidies for tenants will be provided by the LA County Department of Health Services Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool (FHSP) program and the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), through Project Based Section 8 vouchers.

88th and Vermont is the first project to receive a building permit using the Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) Affordable Housing Incentive Program guidelines. The program allows for land-use incentives such as increased density, floor area, and reduced parking requirements based on proximity to transit and the percentage of affordable housing provided. Since its creation, more than 10,100 housing units have been approved under the TOC program.