Housing for Homeless Veterans Breaks Ground in El Sereno

Today we were thrilled to join our development partners as we celebrated the groundbreaking of Rosa de Castilla Apartments in El Sereno (4208 Huntington Drive South, Los Angeles, CA 90032), growing our footprint deeper into the Eastside. A partnership with New Directions for Veterans, the development will include 85 units of quality affordable housing, with 49 units of permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans, 14 units of general permanent supportive housing, and 20 units for low-income families (2 units set aside for management).

“We believe in building equitable developments through our unique community transformation model anchored in three strategies: community organizing, real estate development, and community wealth building,” said ELACC President Isela Gracian at the groundbreaking. “With this development we are able to bring this model to the Rose Hills / El Sereno neighborhood, helping us reach our aggressive goal to double the people we touch annually from 6,000 to over 12,000 by our 25th anniversary next year.”

Utilizing funds from Proposition HHH approved by LA voters in 2016 to build affordable housing for homeless residents, the project signals ELACC’s commitment to tackling the homelessness crisis — one of three permanent supportive housing projects we have currently under construction in the greater Eastside. The others include the Sun Valley Senior Veterans Apartments, slated for completion this November with 96 units for senior homeless veterans, and El Nuevo Amanecer Apartments, which broke ground this June with 61 units for veterans and families.

“LA County’s investment in affordable, mixed-use housing is an effective way to combat our region’s homelessness crisis,” said Los An

geles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis in a statement. “I am proud that the Rosa de Castilla Apartments broke ground in El Sereno, and that it will offer families who are experiencing chronic homelessness a roof over their heads. Veterans who lack shelter will also gain access to these affordable housing units. We owe it to our Veterans and their families to help them after they have served our country. A warm bed can give people experiencing homelessness a sense of stability that will help get them back on their feet and put them on a path towards stable employment. As we think innovatively, I urge all of our partners to join the County in building even more affordable housing units that will benefit our communities and our residents.”

Construction and perm loans were provided by CIT Bank and Boston Private Bank. Equity investment was provided by CREA, LLC.

“CIT is committed to creating opportunities for those in need throughout the region we call home,” said Steve Solk, president of Consumer Banking for CIT. “Our partnership with ELACC helps us give back and provide veterans, families and others a new beginning.”

At Rosa de Castilla Apartments, New Directions for Veterans will provide on-site services to the homeless veteran residents, such as full-time individual case management, mental and supportive health services, employment and educational services, and more. The project received 44 Project Based VASH Vouchers to subsidize the veteran units and 19 general Project Based Vouchers from HACLA.

All tenants will have access to resources provided by ELACC’s Tenant Services, such as after school tutoring and financial literacy classes. Additionally, all tenants will enjoy the building’s amenities, including 68 parking spaces, 2,500 square feet of commercial ground floor retail (with the intent of leasing to a non-profit benefiting area youth), four laundry rooms, two community rooms, computer room, recreational courtyard, fitness room, community garden, case manager and property manager offices and ample bicycle parking.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

  • Contractor: Westport Construction, Inc.
  • Architects: FSY Architects
  • Construction Manager: AMJ Construction
  • Predevelopment Funders: CSH, LISC
  • Project Team: East LA Community Corporation & New Directions for Veterans staff, Ernesto Espinoza, Sua Hernandez, Lauren Quan-Madrid, Gabriela Vega, Priscila Lopez and Ren Ross
  • Other: Cal Vets, Corporation for Supportive Housing, Local Initiatives Support Corporation,  National Equity Fund, LISC and NEF’s Bring Them HOMES, The Veterans Housing Initiative, City of Los Angeles Council District 14, Office of Councilmember Jose Huizar, Los Angeles County Development Authority
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