Landscape Architecture Magazine: Speed bumps and curbs that narrow the street to slow traffic. Safety zones for women and LGBTQ residents. Vegetable gardens with citrus trees. Drinking fountains, storage units, and cell phone charging stations. This isn’t a laundry list of community benefits in your local affluent suburb; it’s a wish list for the nation’s most concentrated homeless community in downtown Los Angeles: Skid Row.
Star Apartments was selected as one of seven finalists for the prestigious Mies Crown Hall America’s Prize (MCHAP) 2014/2015 Awards. The MCHAP is a biennial prize that acknowledges the best built works of architecture in the Americas.
Star Apartments was awarded a 2016 American Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum and European Centre for Architecture. The annual awards program recognizes the best new buildings designed and constructed by American architects and by international architects for buildings designed and built in the United States. The American Architecture Awards are the nation’s highest public awards given by a non-commercial, non-trade affiliated, public arts, culture and educational institution. An exhibition of all the award winning designs will open in Athens, Greece.
Skid Row Housing Trust’s Six Four Nine Lofts development was awarded $5.3 million in California cap-and-trade funding through the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program (AHSC). Six Four Nine Lofts will create 55 supportive homes for homeless and disabled individuals in Downtown Los Angeles’ Skid Row neighborhood. A ground-floor medical clinic, with dental, optometry, pharmacy and mental healthcare services, will be operated by Los Angeles Christian Health Centers and is expected to serve 7,500 people each year. In addition, a portion the funding will be used for pedestrian and bike infrastructure improvements around the development, including a new Metro Bike Share Hub. “This development will not only provide homes for people experiencing homelessness, but it will also place housing and medical services near improved transit options,” said Ben Rosen, the Trust’s Director of Real Estate Development. “By making the community more sustainable, Six Four Nine Lofts is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 19,182 metric tons.”
New York Times: “By the People: Designing a Better America,” opening on Friday at the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt, taps into a rich vein of entrepreneurial beneficence. It is about the intersection of poverty, prosperity, innovation and design, and it couldn’t be timelier. If stories like the one from Chattanooga unavoidably turn out to be more complicated than any museum display can make clear, the spotlight is at least pointed in the right direction.
Yesterday morning, I had the great privilege of hosting a broad coalition of elected officials, civic leaders, philanthropic partners, nonprofit service providers, and homeless advocates at Skid Row Housing Trust’s New Genesis Apartments, which gathered to urge Angelenos to vote yes on Proposition HHH on the November 2016 ballot. The proposition – “Housing and Hope to End Homelessness”- would allow the city to finance 10,000 units of permanent supportive housing over the next 10 years. It would triple the rate at which Los Angeles currently builds safe, stable, and affordable housing that is desperately needed by thousands of individuals who are currently homeless.
Permanent supportive housing in Los Angeles has a 90% success rate at ending homelessness, and is 43% cheaper than leaving people on the street where they are dependent on emergency services and temporary shelters for care. Not just an apartment, permanent supportive housing offers voluntary on-site health, mental health, recovery and case management services so that formerly homeless individuals can stabilize their lives on their own terms. Unfortunately, there is not enough housing to help all of those in need, and the waitlist is long. Visit yesonhhh.com to learn how Proposition HHH would dramatically accelerate the work that is being done, bringing this proven solution to scale.
Proposition HHH is a common-sense approach based on evidence and years of hands-on experience: Homes end homelessness. It would bring tens of thousands of our neighbors – men, women, children and veterans – home. We were honored to host the launch of this important campaign, which was covered by the LA Times, KCRW, MyNewsLA, ABC, CBS and many more. Join this historic effort to end homelessness in our City by spreading word and voting yes for Proposition HHH this November.
CEO, Skid Row Housing Trust
KCRW: The Los Angeles City Council is weighing two separate measures to fund solutions to homelessness. One likely applicant for those funds will be the nonprofit developer Skid Row Housing Trust, which has built supportive housing by some of LA’s leading architects. Can good architecture and planning help re-integrate the formerly homeless back into society?
ArchPaper: Estimates for 2015 released by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority put Los Angeles County’s homeless population at 44,359 individuals, with 17,687 of the 25,686 homeless residents of the City of Los Angeles being completely unsheltered.
STAT News: The job sounds impossible: solve the health care crisis in the massive and desperately sick homeless population of Skid Row, which sprawls across dozens of blocks just south of downtown.