Sixteen formerly homeless veterans and 16 low-income families have a new place to call home, as Los Angeles County and City officials celebrated the grand opening of Metro @ Western, an affordable housing development located a short walk from the Western stop on the Metro Expo Line.
Built by Meta Housing Corporation and Western Community Housing, the development features a four-story apartment building with an outdoor lounge areas, a community garden, a community room with a kitchen, computer lab, and other amenities.
The nonprofit LifeSTEPS will provide supportive services for the residents, many of whom used to live on the streets. The services include intensive case management, mental health assessment and counseling, physical health care, substance abuse services, service linkages, medication management, employment and education services, and life skills training.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will also provide additional support to eligible homeless veterans for healthcare assistance.
“These grand openings are occurring at a pace like never before, but I believe we can take it to another level – a Comprehensive Crisis Response,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “We are housing 130 people every day, but the shortage of affordable apartments remains dire. We must all be inspired by partners like Meta Housing and Western Community Housing, and act with compassion and urgency to make Los Angeles County a place where all residents have a place to call home.”
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and LA City Council Member Marqueece Harris-Dawson also attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony, along with several of Metro @ Western’s new tenants.
The LA County Development Authority provided approximately $1.5 million in Affordable Housing Trust Funds for the construction and permanent financing of the development.
“Coming together and joining our partners to celebrate a beautiful development in this deserving community is at the core of that for which we strive,” LACDA Acting Executive Director Emilio Salas said. “With the ongoing support of community leaders, including the County and City of Los Angeles, we can continue to invest and increase the number of quality affordable housing developments that are desperately needed.”
Over the past five years, over 4,300 affordable housing units — or 70% of total units funded within LA County — have been reserved for its most vulnerable populations, including veterans experiencing homelessness and families with limited means.
“Metro @ Western is a prime example of how public-private partnerships can deliver housing to the communities that need it most,” Meta Housing President Kasey Burke said. “The County of Los Angeles has proven itself a leader in this endeavor. By partnering with our firm, which has specialized in the development of high-quality affordable housing for nearly three decades, and by collaborating with other like-minded partners and organizations, the County was able to deliver this much-needed, safe and affordable living environment to veterans and citizens in need.”