While leading efforts to ramp up the siting and construction of temporary shelters for Los Angeles County’s homeless population, particularly those living under freeways, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has also emphasized the need to continue building affordable apartments with supportive services, one of the most effective ways to end a person’s homelessness long term.
He recently joined Linc Housing’s Rebecca Clark and Suny Lay Chang on a hard hat media tour of Springhaven, a 100-unit affordable apartment community under construction in Willowbrook, conveniently located near Metro’s Rosa Parks Station and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medical Campus.
“While the County has moved at an unprecedented rate to bring vulnerable individuals experiencing homelessness indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic, often into interim shelter or motels, we must keep our eyes on the prize – which is always long-term, affordable housing with services available to help residents thrive,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. “And there is no better place to have this type of quality housing than in the transit-oriented community created in Willowbrook over the past few years. Located close to medical services, public libraries, public transit, a community garden, and retail, this is a community ready to cater to the needs and desires of all its residents, and I know it will become a vibrant and welcoming neighborhood for the families who will soon call Springhaven home.”
Fifty of Springhaven’s units have been set aside for families and individuals who have experienced homelessness, and they will be getting the keys to their new homes in a few months. These households will receive intensive case management funded by Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, as well as life-enhancing services through Linc’s resident services programs. At nearby Mosaic Gardens at Willowbrook, Linc has seen a 90 percent housing retention rate after one year, which demonstrates the importance of providing wraparound services to ensure housing stability. In addition to the new affordable and supportive housing, Drew Child Development Corporation will provide quality childcare to the community on the ground floor of the development for 88 children.
“Linc is proud of the strong partnership with Los Angeles County and the community,” said Suny Lay Chang, COO, Linc Housing. “As homelessness remains a key concern, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas and leaders in this tight-knit community consistently show their commitment to working together with the public and private sectors to make positive changes in the neighborhood. We’re eager to open this beautiful new building, and we’re already hard at work on a third site nearby.”
The 50 homes for people who have experienced homelessness will be filled through referrals from the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. The remaining units will serve families earning up to 60 percent of area median income and one on-site property manager. Linc Housing received more than 4,000 tenant applications for the 49 traditional affordable housing units, reflecting the tremendous need for housing in the region.
In all, Springhaven will have 26 three-bedroom, 24 two-bedroom and 50 one-bedroom apartments. Community areas include multi-purpose spaces to house a variety of resident programs as well as private meeting rooms for service providers and case managers. Additional amenities include an exercise room, garden program, computer lab, community kitchen, activity room for social programs, on-site laundry facilities, and secure long-term bicycle parking.
The property is joining and contributing to a model transit-oriented community that has experienced a dramatic transformation in the past decade. Within a quarter-mile of the property, more than $1 billion has been invested in various community assets, including the complete transformation of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Medical Campus, a new public library, community garden, and improved public transit and infrastructure improvements, including the completely reconstituted Willowbrook/Rosa Parks Metro Station.