People who were recently homeless will get more than an apartment at Los Angeles’ newest supportive housing development.
The David T.C. Ho Family Building includes 33 studio and 31 one-bedroom apartments along with a two-bedroom manager unit, community rooms, counseling and case management offices, and a Veterans Connections Center for veteran services.
The community is the first phase of PATH Metro Villas, a partnership with co-developers Affirmed Housing and PATH Ventures, an affiliate of PATH (People Assisting the Homeless).
“Homelessness is the humanitarian crisis of our time, and we will only end it by building as much supportive housing as we can, as quickly as we can,” said Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti. “We will overcome this challenge—project by project, and door by door—and days like this remind us what’s possible when everyone works together.”
More than just housing, the development provide services in four key areas: housing, health care, employment, and veteran services. On-site services include case management, a job training kitchen, health and wellness programs, a bike-share program, and support with independent living provided by four, full-time PATH staff.
“PATH Metro Villas is an excellent example of the kind of high-quality supportive housing our community needs,” said Amy Anderson, executive director of PATH Ventures. “The development provides an opportunity for our residents to regain health and stability and to thrive in an environment that offers both an affordable home and on-site support.”
The project’s first phase, which cost approximately $28.6 million, comes at a time when nearly 53,000 people are experiencing homelessness in the greater Los Angeles area.
UnitedHealthcare is the largest investor, providing $12 million in low-income housing tax credit equity through a partnership with Enterprise Housing Credit Investments. The health-care company’s investment is part of the more than $400 million it has provided throughout the United States to help redefine healthy living by helping address social determinants, like access to housing, that affect people’s health and well-being.
“At UnitedHealthcare, we understand that some of the greatest barriers to better health include social and financial barriers such as access to safe and affordable housing,” said Rob Falkenberg, CEO of UnitedHealthcare of California. “Metro Villas is an important investment because it connects people struggling with homelessness with housing and important services and programs that can have a positive impact on their lives.”
“Enterprise shares UnitedHealthcare and PATH’s belief that investing in well-designed, affordable homes improves individual and community health,” said Scott Hoekman, president and CEO, Enterprise Housing Credit Investments. “Our continuing partnership with UnitedHealthcare has helped some of the most vulnerable people across the country obtain the housing and social services they need to have greater opportunities.”
Funding partners also include the California Department of Housing and Community Development, city of Los Angeles Housing + Community Investment Department, Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, JPMorgan Chase Bank, California Community Reinvestment Corp., and voter-approved Measure H.
A $54.3 million second phase of construction will bring the size of the whole project to 187 affordable housing units, plus a primary health-care clinic and mental health clinic. Phase two is set to open in March 2020 and is one of the first major developments to launch since voters across Los Angeles approved Measure H in 2017 and Proposition HHH in 2016, according to the development team.