The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday set aside more than $37 million to fund construction of affordable housing, including over $18 million in loans to developers of five individual projects in the South Los Angeles area.
Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, whose district encompasses all five project sites, emphasized that the money is merely a drop in the bucket.
“This is tremendous, but it is simply not enough,” he said in a statement. “We can’t just focus on bricks and sticks. We need to make sure that there is that ongoing funding for supportive services, if we really want to ensure that those that are living in affordable housing can thrive.”
Cumulatively the five projects will include 304 units of housing for homeless residents and tenants with special needs or disabilities. The largest of the developments, planned by AMCAL Multi-Housing and called the Florence Library Apartments, will bring 117 units to the unincorporated community of Florence-Firestone.
Another major project, developed by the Hollywood Community Housing Corporation, will include 85 units in two buildings just west of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Hospital. Forty of those units will be reserved for low-income families, while another 43 will serve people who require frequent healthcare services or who are being discharged from the hospital without a home to return to.
Both of those projects, along with a smaller development by LINC Housing Corp. at 6218 Compton Avenue, will receive $5 million in loans from the county.
Additionally, the Board of Supervisors consolidated over $19 million into the 2016-2017 budget to fund other affordable housing projects on an “as-needed” basis. County staff is currently reviewing eight additional projects that could be funded at a later date.
The funding comes as both the city and county of Los Angeles struggle to address rising levels of homelessness across the region.
In November, city voters signed off on a property tax that will help fund up to 10,000 units of affordable housing. Now, the county is asking voters to approve a quarter-cent sales tax bump to really put a dent in the problem.