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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Dennison Lists Upcoming Events and Questions Asked Regarding Venice Median

By Becky Dennison, Director of Venice Community Housing

Saturday, March 4th
10 am – 12 pm
Tour of existing Venice Community Housing properties
Meeting place: 720 Rose Avenue, Venice
Please rsvp to Iisha Jones at ijones@vchcorp.org if you plan to attend.

Thursday, March 9th
7:00 pm
Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd.
Community meeting to present the preliminary proposal(s) for the Venice-Dell-Pacific site!

We are also continuing to attend community meetings as invited – please feel free to invite us to come to any formal or informal group of neighbors or stakeholders.  Email venicedellpacific@vchcorp.org to extend an invitation and/or give any other suggestions on expanding community engagement or about the project/site overall.

This Week’s Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Is it true that the Venice-Dell-Pacific development won’t provide housing and services for people currently living on the streets in Venice?
No, that is not true. It also is not true that people who are homeless in Venice would not likely qualify for the wait list through the Coordinated Entry System (CES). There are over 500 individuals within SPA 5 CES waiting for a housing referral who are homeless in Venice, and many more are in the family CES system. VCH regularly receives and accepts CES referrals to house individuals and families currently homeless in Venice for our existing housing in Venice and Del Rey, and we plan to utilize the same process for Venice-Dell-Pacific. Additionally, in response to substantial community input regarding the desire to house people already living in Venice, the development team is exploring additional methods we may be able to use in this development to ensure we adequately serve Venice while also meeting fair housing requirements.

Was the development team of Venice Community Housing, Hollywood Community Housing Corp, and Eric Owen Moss Architects selected or approved “behind closed doors”?
No. The City Administrative Officer led the public, competitive process for selecting development teams to explore possible development on City-owned sites. A Request for Qualifications/Proposals (RFQ/P) was released and posted publicly on the City’s website on July 25, 2016. A public pre-submission conference was held on August 9, 2016 and was attended by approximately 100 people. Questions were allowed to be submitted and all Q&A was published online. Proposals were due on September 15, 2016. From the CAO’s public report announcing the results of the RFQ/P, the proposals were reviewed by a Selection Panel: “The five-member Selection Panel for the RFQ/P consisted of four City staff and one non-City staff engaged in housing work. City staff consisted of representatives from the CAO, CLA, HCID, and the Department of City Planning (DCP). The non-City panelist was from the County of Los Angeles Chief Executive Office (County CEO) Homeless Initiative.” The report, with the recommended development teams and the action to enter into Exclusive Negotiating Agreements between the City and the development teams, was considered in four public meetings, all of which had public comment: Joint Municipal Facilities and Homeless Strategy Committees (11/17/16), City Council Homelessness and Poverty Committee (12/7/16), City Council Entertainment and Facilities Committee (12/13/16), and City Council (12/14/16). The testimony at three of four of these public hearings was unanimously in support of the City’s program and the development teams selected; testimony in support and opposition was heard at the Homelessness and Poverty Committees. All public documents and meetings related to the RFQ/P are available here: https://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm?fa=ccfi.viewrecord&cfnumber=16-0600-S145

Will rehabilitation projects of existing buildings funded by Proposition HHH move faster or cost less than new construction?
Rehabilitation projects funded by Proposition HHH must be substantive, and generally require the same combination of public funds as new construction projects, including tax credits and rental subsidies. Therefore, the development timeline for new construction and rehabilitation projects is generally not substantially different. As answered previously, sometimes rehabilitation projects cost less than new construction and sometimes they do not. Both types of developments are much needed and will be pursued by developers using Proposition HHH funds. However, the City is in a dire shortage of housing units at all low and moderate income levels, so new construction is encouraged and necessary to end homelessness.

All Q&A to date is available here: http://www.vchcorp.org/venice-dell-pacific-faqs/
Email venicedellpacific@vchcorp.org to submit any new questions.

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