Hollywood Community Housing Corp. (HCHC) and Step Up on Second have transformed a vacant rundown Galaxy Inn into LEED-Platinum permanent supportive housing.

Step Up on Vine in Hollywood, Calif., provides 32 studios for homeless individuals with persistent and severe mental illness. The units are set aside for residents earning less than 37 percent of the area median income, and the project has a 15-year subsidy commitment from the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles for project-based Sec. 8 vouchers.

Step Up on Vine features a white “cool roof” that reduces the heat island effect, a greenscreen that provides shading, a highly efficient HVAC system, a solar hot water system, and a rooftop solar array.

“[The architects] have taken a somewhat tired and shabby corner and really converted it into a star building,” says Bill Harris, executive director of HCHC.

Step Up on Vine provides comprehensive services for the residents, including two hot meals a day. As part of the services component, the building includes a rooftop garden and a commercial kitchen. A vocational program provides residents with hands-on training in food preparation, incorporating produce harvested from the garden.

Financing for the $15.1 million project included low-income housing tax credit equity provided by Raymond James Tax Credit Funds. Philanthropist Aileen Getty provided the full $3 million acquisition price, leaving $1 million in the project with Step Up on Second and $2 million for the construction loan, which will be repaid shortly.

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