With homelessness surging by 23% this year in Los Angeles County, according to the latest point-in-time count in January, nonprofit Skid Row Housing Trust is working to create more housing options to address the crisis.

Completed in July 2016, Crest Apartments in Van Nuys is providing 64 much-needed permanent supportive housing units for individuals experiencing homelessness, including 23 units for veterans with special needs. This is the first project in the San Fernando Valley for Skid Row Housing Trust, which has primarily been focused on downtown Los Angeles.

The development provides housing and on-site supportive services for individuals who have either experienced chronic homelessness, earn extremely low incomes, live with physical and mental health disabilities, or are frequent utilizers of Los Angeles County Department of Health Services resources.

Los Angeles County Department of Health Services created a funding stream for supportive services, and the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles has provided project-based vouchers as rental subsidy.

Designed by award-winning Michael Maltzan Architecture, Crest Apartments has transformed a vacant and underutilized infill lot. The building, which is certified LEED Platinum, has been designed in a long, arching form that creates a sheltered community courtyard and ground-floor office space for supportive services. This has helped to create open green space, which includes car and bike parking, community gardens, and barbecue patio areas. The upper levels feature studio apartments and open space to support independent living.

“Crest Apartments exemplifies the way Skid Row Housing Trust leverages architecture to improve neighborhoods and empower residents,” says Dana Trujillo, chief investment and finance officer for the nonprofit. “By using design in this way, we have found that the building becomes an integral part of their recovery and healing process.”

The $23.8 million development received support at the city, county, and state levels. National Equity Fund was the low-income housing tax credit syndicator, with JPMorgan Chase as the upper-tier investor. Union Bank also provided construction and permanent financing.