Transforming Tiki Apartments

IMG_1753What used to be a seedy motel in Walnut Park is being transformed into an $11.6-million permanent supportive housing community for homeless adults with special needs.

At the groundbreaking ceremony for Tiki Apartments, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas declared, “It brings me great joy to bear witness to the transformation of this site into state-of-the-art affordable housing.”

IMG_1758“I can think of no better use for this property as I believe there is no more critical, urgent or moral issue that requires our collective attention than the homeless crisis,” he added.

Supervisor Ridley-Thomas’ office set aside $500,000 of Los Angeles County’s Homeless Prevention Initiative funds for the project being built on the site of the former Tiki Motel, which appeared in the blockbuster movie The Terminator.

Once construction is completed in December, Tiki Apartments will have 35 affordable rental units for homeless adults with special needs who had been heavily dependent on medical care provided by the County Department of Health Services (DHS).

As tenants, they would be eligible for supportive services that should help them attain greater levels of stability, independence and economic security. This includes case management, mental health care, primary and preventive health care, substance abuse treatment, and financial and life skills training.

IMG_1759The development will also include amenities such as a courtyard, outdoor fitness area, on-site laundry and gardening plots, all intended to promote wellness, self-sufficiency and community.

It is Meta Housing Corp.’s eighth project in the Second District, with four additional deals pending.

“With the support of Supervisor Ridley-Thomas and the County’s Community Development Commission and DHS, we are going to create 35 new units at Tiki Apartments that will move people off of the streets and into permanent supportive housing,” Meta Housing project manager Brian “Ross” Ferrera said. “This is a much more efficient use of County resources, as it would permanently house these residents in safe and comfortable housing and stop the cycle of going in and out of emergency rooms and temporary shelters.”

Meta Housing President Kasey Burke added, “The need for permanent supportive housing is greater than ever and Supervisor Ridley-Thomas and the County of Los Angeles are showing tremendous leadership to help tackle this problem and provide the necessary resources to house our most needy population.”

John Stewart Company has been tapped to manage Tiki Apartments, while DHS will partner with the nonprofit Western Community Housing, Inc. to provide supportive services.

Also present at the groundbreaking ceremony were Community Development Commission Executive Director Sean Rogan, DHS’s Housing for Health Program Director Marc Trotz and Western Community Housing, Inc. President Graham Espley-Jones.

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