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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Becky Dennison Answers Some of the Questions Asked at Venice Median Meet

Becky Dennison, director of Venice Community Housing Corporation (VCH), answered some of the questions Friday that people were seeking at the Thursday meet regarding the Venice Median. She said she would continue to update information.

What Exactly Has Been Approved by the City?
In December 2016, the City approved the Venice-Dell-Pacific site to be included in its Affordable Housing Opportunity Sites Program, and has approved Venice Community Housing (VCH) and Hollywood Community Housing Corp. (HCHC) to pursue an affordable and permanent supportive housing development on the site. The City’s program also requires that any development proposal include all existing public parking spaces. In January 2017, the City, VCH and HCHC entered into an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) for the site.

What Has Not Been Approved by the City?
The City has not approved any final project proposal. Once a final project proposal is prepared by the development team, it will have to be approved through all of the regular public approval processes with the City, including the Planning Commission and City Council, as well as the State’s Coastal Commission.

What Exactly Is Being Proposed for the Site?
We are in the process of soliciting community input to prepare a draft project proposal for an affordable and permanent supportive housing development. As of today, there are two main things known about what will definitely be included in the project: 1) Affordable and permanent supportive housing, and 2) All current public parking spots.

Who Is Housed in Affordable and Permanent Supportive Housing?
Permanent supportive housing tenants must be homeless at the time of lease up, and can include families or individuals, people with a variety of disabilities, people with chronic health conditions, people who are chronically homeless (for more than one year and a disability), or other target groups. Affordable housing generally serves people earning between 30% and 60% of the area median income, and can target individuals or families, seniors, lower wage workers, artists, and others. All residents in affordable and permanent supportive housing are tenants, with legal tenant rights and responsibilities.

What Is Not Known about the Development Proposal Yet?
The number of housing units, the affordability levels of the units, and the specific groups to be housed (i.e. Veterans, people with disabilities, families, etc) has not yet been decided. Other amenities to include in the development (i.e. arts spaces, green spaces, community-serving retail, etc.) have not yet been decided. No design decisions have yet been made. Based on this initial phase of community engagement in early 2017, the development team plans to have draft proposal(s) for review and comment in February or March. There will be additional community input gathered on the draft proposal, and then a final proposal

Will the Site be Developed as a Homeless Shelter?
No. The City’s program requires the development of affordable housing. Also, the development team’s missions are to develop permanent, affordable housing. This means that the people who live in the housing planned for this site will be long-term tenants and pay rent.

How Does the County’s Coordinated Entry System (CES) Work?
The CES system created centralized wait lists for permanent supportive housing throughout LA County. Although the CES system is Countywide, the wait lists are regional. This site is in Service Planning Area 5 (SPA 5), and therefore would receive referrals for permanent supportive housing tenants from the SPA 5 wait list, which includes people who are currently without housing and living in Westside communities. CES is not one Countywide wait/referral list.

Why Should We Build Affordable and Permanent Supportive Housing in Venice and Not Other Communities?
Affordable and permanent supportive housing are primarily being built in other communities. There are more than 8,000 permanent supportive housing units (PSH) operating Countywide, and only 42 of them are in Venice. In other Westside communities, Santa Monica has more than 350 PSH units and Del Rey has at least 85 PSH units. The large majority of PSH units have been produced in communities in Downtown Los Angeles, South Los Angeles, and the Valley. There hasn’t been significant affordable housing production in Venice since the 1990s.

Comments (4)

  1. Billy Zanatakos

    We really need more of the social service providers advocating for the homeless to have input into the process after all these decisions will affect how they will live in Venice when these projects are built.

  2. Anonymous

    Seems like our Councilman and LA City government in general have once again determined that Venice will be the repository for most of the human adversity on the West Side. Let us hope that candidate Ryavec uses his campaign time to illuminate the press and general public as to what is really going on here. The City and their friends in the social services are either lying big time or believe the tales of on line support for these projects that has been provided by a couple of advocates who post in various names on the Venice area new media. A fine mess

  3. John mc manamy

    With 1500 campers on our streets the proposal is to build housing for city wide homeless. In five years, when this project may come on line, nothing will change for the homeless on our streets. Nothing will change, venice will continue to be a shabby sea side town and I suspect more campers will be living on our streets.
    Go Bonin, you’re really making our community safer and providing homes for the campers on our streets. Right?

  4. Billy Zanatakos

    This is a very good explanation and reason to build supportive housing in Venice. The VCH really debunks all the naysayer’s arguments who project doom and gloom about how unfair it is for Venice. Well, homelessness is the burden they are just going to have to accept and get used to VCH and Bonin leading the charge in Venice to build as much supportive housing projects as they can. This team runs like a well-oiled machine and they are going to steamroll right over the naysayers and get this project done.

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