The Star Apartment project, a newly built supportive housing site for the homeless, also will be home to a new Department of Health Services primary care clinic that will specialize in providing integrated health care services to homeless people and residents of supportive housing.
The building, owned by the Skid Row Housing Trust, will house the Star Clinic on the ground level and the department’s Housing for Health offices, with 102 residential units above. Funding for the clinic was recently approved by the Board of Supervisors.
Seventy-Eight tenants already have moved into the building, located on 6th Street and Maple Avenue, with the rest scheduled to move in by the end of December. Designed by notable architect Michael Maltzan, the building is made of prefabricated residences that were placed on top of a concrete superstructure. Formerly an elevated parking garage, the building will include a basketball court and track on its former roof for the tenants. The UniHealth Foundation, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and Gensler Architecture also contributed to the project.
Based on other similar projects, the Department of Health Services anticipates a 75 percent reduction in unnecessary emergency room visits and inpatient admissions for tenants who are housed in the the Star apartments.
Located along the border of Skid Row, the project has been praised by architecture and urban design experts for setting a new standard for remodeling an existing 1-story building and adding new community spaces and residential levels above. In addition, there will be a community garden in the space for residents to enjoy.
“The Star Apartments will offer high quality housing, services and amenities to help folks get back on their feet and live productive lives,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, whose office contributed $400,000 for the project. “It is essential that we offer these types of homes for people in need across our community.”