Kelly Barrie/Panic Studio LA

Carson Arts provides more than shelter for its residents, including many low-income artists and their families in Carson, California.

Located south of downtown Los Angeles, the new community comes at a time when many working artists are struggling to find an affordable place in the area.

Developed by Meta Housing, Carson Arts features 21 one-, 13 two-, and 12 three-bedroom units for families earning between 30% and 60% of the area median income. The development also has music rooms, artist studios, a woodworking shop, and a gallery directed by nonprofit Universal Voice.

“For artists, it’s very valuable,” says Loren Messeri, director of development at Meta Housing. “And, many times the different localities that we are working with also see it as very valuable to keep arts and culture within the local community.”

Kelly Barrie/Panic Studio LA

Carson Arts is seen as a foundational piece in the city’s burgeoning arts district.

The new development also serves 10 families referred by Los Angeles County’s Office of Diversion and Reentry. Many are single mothers coming out of the criminal justice system.

To assist these families and the other residents, two different service providers work to bring case management, after-school tutoring, wellness classes, and other programs.

“We held numerous stakeholder meetings with artists and others in the community about what they want,” Messeri says. “Carson Arts is part of the evolution of how we’ve developed arts-space communities in the past.”

Financing for the approximately $27 million development includes low-income housing tax credits.