A copy of all the posters presented at the September outreach meeting by Clifford Beers can be found at the bottom of this story.
Earlier this month, Clifford Beers Housing unveiled updated plans for the Corazon del Valle subsidized housing development in the L.A. neighborhood of Panorama City. An earlier proposal was presented to the community this spring called for 120 affordable and supportive housing units. After listening to public comment and doing outreach to various stakeholders, the Corazon del Valle team went back to work, eager to design a project that would meet the needs and desires of the community.
The new proposal is for a two-phased development with four buildings and 180 subsidized apartment units. At a recent community meeting the updated proposal was met with wide community support,
"Community outreach went really well, and residential and commercial neighbors are overwhelmingly supportive," explains Claire Okeke, the communications manager for Clifford Beers.
The project will be located at 14545 Lanark Street and will feature a mix of studio, one-, two-, and three bedroom apartments. Units will be available to individuals and families earning between thirty and sixty percent of the median income in the area. Corazon del Valle will feature supportive programs similar to those at the smaller Marv's Place in Pasadena: case management, financial literacy, transportation and job assistance, mental health care, and fun activities.
The ground floors will feature nearly 3,000 feet of retail and offices, as well as bicycle and car parking. For those without a car or bike, the site is next to existing bus lines and a future light rail line.
One reason for this groundswell of support? A mobilized and active group of teachers.
"We also met with the three next door schools, teachers and parents, and they expressed time and again how residents in the neighborhood need rental rates that they can actually afford," Okeke continues.
"When families are paying so much of their income on rent, other necessities go unmet, such as food and healthcare. Teachers also spoke about their students who have been homeless for several years, and have not found housing in all that time. Having a stable home improves educational outcomes, so this is important."
The development will be constructed in two parts. Phase 1 with 90 units and Phase 2 with another 90 units.Phase 1 is expected to start construction in early 2021, and Phase 2 will start after that. The timeline for Phase 1 is the same as the one for the original 120-unit design.
14545 Lanark Street in Panorama City is owned by Los Angeles County and Clifford Beers was chosen as the developer after a public process. After selection, staff at Clifford Beers worked closely with the Office of Supervisor Shelia Kuehl on a public process that has included a handful of public meetings, door knocking and outreach at schools and businesses. Kuehl also championed the agreement between the County and Clifford Beers to develop the lot.
“The Corazon del Valle apartments are a perfect example of how the county is using every resource we have to reduce homelessness,” said Kuehl. “This community has been very welcoming and at every community meeting at least one family has approached us to say, “We live in this community but we have no home. How do I get on the list?’ My thanks go out to all the residents who recognize that the solution to homelessness is homes and that this new building will be an asset for the community, and provide homes to many families who need one.”