Homeless veterans will have a place of their own at New Directions Sepulveda I and II in Southern California.
Scheduled to open on a 160-acre Veterans Affairs (VA) campus in North Hills in July, it will offer 147 studio apartments for vets and two managers’ units. The location will place residents within easy reach of VA medical services.
Residents will also be provided comprehensive services from New Directions, an organization that specializes in assisting veterans. New Directions and A Community of Friends (ACOF), a longtime affordable housing provider, are co-developers.
Their $62.4 million permanent supportive housing development will go a long way toward filling a huge need.
“It will help relieve the pressure on veteran homelessness in San Fernando Valley,” says Dora Leong Gallo, CEO of ACOF, explaining that there are approximately 6,000 homeless vets in greater Los Angeles.
Two vacant VA buildings are being adapted into housing. Developers negotiated a 75-year enhanced-use lease with the federal government to make this possible. The VA is also providing a $10 million capital contribution, which is typically used for the agency’s own projects.
Additional funding includes $20.4 million in low-income housing tax credit equity from National Equity Fund, Inc., and investor Bank of America Merrill Lynch and $18 million from the state.
Even before opening, New Directions has had an impact. The developers pushed for changes at the state and federal levels that have removed barriers to building a “veterans only” development.