The Los Angeles City Council voted today to put out a call for developers to build permanent supportive housing on Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista.
The property at Venice Boulevard and Beethoven Street is now home to the offices of the Disability Community Resource Center, a nonprofit that works to promote independence for people with disabilities and has been at the location since 1983. The nonprofit is a partial owner of the property, along with the city, so it will have an active role in the development process as it moves forward.
The call for developers would seek to find someone to build a project that includes permanent supportive housing for the homeless, and a new headquarters and office space for the Disability Community Rights Center, says Councilmember Mike Bonin, whose district includes the property.
“The property... presents a unique opportunity to provide affordable housing and services for people who are homeless and/or disabled,” says Bonin. A report from the city’s administrative officer says the property could potentially hold as many as 38 units.
People with disabilities are particularly vulnerable in the city’s housing crisis because affordable housing is not usually accessible housing, says TJ Hill, the executive director of the Disability Community Resource Center. Housing that takes Section 8 vouchers is also not often wheelchair-accessible, he says.
The federal government has sued the city of Los Angeles for not providing enough affordable housing for people with mobility-related disabilities, a problem it has not fully addressed, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The same population is “extremely vulnerable” when homeless, Hill says, noting that the life expectancy of someone with serious disability who becomes homeless is about one year.
“Those are things we’re trying to rectify with this project,” says Hill.
The call for developers could go out as soon as next month, a spokesperson for Bonin says.