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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Dennison Answers More Community Questions Regarding Venice Median

Is there a possibility that there won’t be services provided at this site because Proposition HHH can only fund construction of units, not social services?
No. Proposition HHH creates a dedicated, local source of funds for the capital costs of constructing permanent supportive housing (PSH). PSH is funded by multiple sources, and are blended together to ensure funding for both construction and ongoing staffing needs and services for tenants in the building. Current sources of funding for services in PSH include Los Angeles County, the Home for Good funders collaborative which is led by the United Way, and other public and private sources. Measure H, on LA County’s ballot on March 7th, would increase the resources that LA County has to fund services for homeless and formerly homeless residents.

Why should we spend so much money on constructing new permanent supportive housing?
Multiple studies have shown that the funds spent to create and operate new permanent supportive housing actually save governments money, as it costs more in emergency health care, arrests or jail stays, emergency shelters and other public costs of people remaining homeless. Additionally, there is a severe housing shortage at most all income levels in the City of Los Angeles, especially at the lowest income levels. We can and do provide public funds and social service support for homeless people to move into existing housing, but the housing stock is too limited to be able to house everyone by this method. Even people with Section 8 vouchers have a hard time finding available housing, often facing the expiration of their voucher and remaining homeless. We need to build more homes and use the existing housing stock to address homelessness, and this approach saves Los Angeles money in the long run.

Why not just buy existing run-down apartments or motels and house homeless people there?
Both VCH and HCHC, as well as many other non-profit organizations, can and do renovate apartments and motels to create PSH when the circumstances warrant such an approach, however, there are some practical obstacles to consider. For example, we cannot pay more than fair market value for a property and many owners of multifamily properties and motels are not interested in selling because they either want above market prices today or they want to sell in the future when property values have reached new heights. Secondly, vacancy rates are very low in multifamily properties and it is problematic to displace existing households so that their unit can be renovated and re-rented to a formerly homeless household. Existing buildings will continue to be purchased and renovated by affordable housing developers, but, as stated above, this must happen in conjunction with the development of brand new units in order to address LA’s severe housing shortage.

Can we expect a “Safe Parking” program at the site?
No. Neither HCHC nor VCH offers services to homeless residents at our permanent supportive housing sites – our services onsite are for formerly homeless tenants and other low-income tenants that live in the property. Additionally, the new safe parking program is targeting parking lots that are not in use overnight. This will not be the case at the Venice-Dell-Pacific site if a residential development is achieved.

What was the process for selecting VCH and HCHC to develop this property?
The City Administrative Officer (CAO) released a Request for Qualifications/Proposals (RFP/Q) and VCH and HCHC responded with proposals. From the CAO’s public report, “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 public documents and meetings related to the RFP/Q are available here: https://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm?fa=ccfi.viewrecord&cfnumber=16-0600-S145

To see past Q&A about Venice-Dell-Pacific, click here: http://www.vchcorp.org/venice-dell-pacific-faqs/

Comment (1)

  1. Billy Zanatakos

    I am very satisfied with the answers provided regarding the Venice Median project. Bonin will have no problem pushing it through.

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