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California Sustainable Affordable Housing Grants Awarded to Five Local Projects

Five southern California AHSC grants - four L.A. City and one L.A. County - will bring more than 500 transit-oriented affordable housing units, plus bus, bike, and walk improvements

State AHSC grants went to five local projects, including pictured affordable housing planned on New Hampshire Avenue at 7th Street. Photo via Urbanize

Earlier this week, the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) awarded nearly $800 million in Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Round 7 grants going to 21 projects throughout the state. The AHSC program advances state equity and climate goals by supporting projects that connect housing with green transportation.

In L.A. County, five projects received AHSC grants totaling $187 million. Four projects totalling $156.7 million are in L.A. City. One additional $30.8 million project is in the unincorporated L.A. County neighborhood of Florence-Firestone.

In a press statement, Mayor Karen Bass stated that the grants "will help our City continue to deliver affordable housing in communities across Los Angeles while making sure that our communities are safer for people to get where they need to go."

Per Los Angeles Housing Department Public Information Director Sharon Sandow, L.A. city grants total ~$96 million for affordable housing, and ~$54 million for sustainable transportation improvements and walk/bike transit facilities "including installing new traffic-calming measures like speed bumps, high-visibility crosswalks, and HAWK signals." "Over 85,000 feet [16 miles] of existing roads will receive new bikeway infrastructure" and "nearly 2,000 feet of sidewalks will be repaired, along with new trees and bus shelters to provide more shade for residents."

According to Sandow, an additional ~$3.3 million pays for an anti-displacement program, a workforce development program, and bus passes.

Both city and county projects include the purchase of new electric Metro buses "to increase capacity for existing bus lines surrounding the project sites." Sandow notes that each city project includes seven to nine new buses, and the county grant includes 9 new buses, so the overall new Metro bus total is about 40.

Hopefully the city of L.A. will deliver on all these mobility projects. In the past, L.A. used AHSC funding to build affordable housing, then indefinitely delayed building AHSC-funded bike and walk facilities. City projects in 2019's AHSC Round 4 have mostly completed the housing itself in Hollywood, downtown, and South L.A. (Jordan Downs and Manchester Urban Homes) while the accompanying active transportation improvements (managed by the city Bureau of Engineering) often languish unbuilt. (At some point, the city's delays could risk L.A. competitiveness for future AHSC funding - possibly as soon as AHSC Round 8, expected in 2024).

Below are details of the five local AHSC grant projects:

L.A. City projects

2020 Crenshaw Crossing rendering - via Urbanize

Crenshaw Crossing - $49.9 million
Watt Companies

Crenshaw Crossing is the long-planned mixed-used development to be located on L.A. County and Metro land where the Metro E and K Lines intersect, at Crenshaw Boulevard at Exposition Boulevard, in South L.A. The city approved plans for two eight-story buildings containing 401 apartments. In 2021, the project was to be roughly half affordable housing, pending state funds. AHSC funds will cover 176 affordable units.

The AHSC grant will also construct "nearly 10 miles of new bike lanes," repair crosswalks and sidewalks, add curb ramps, and purchase nine Metro buses.

Rendering of "Rosa's Place" Downtown Women's Center expansion - via Urbanize

Downtown Women’s Center Campus Expansion - $41.1 million
GTM Holdings

Located at the corner of 5th Street and San Pedro Street in Skid Row, the Downtown Women's Center campus expansion will construct a new seven-story residential building with 98 housing units for victims of domestic violence and women experiencing homelessness.

The AHSC grant funds the 97 permanent supportive units (98th unit is the manager's) along with "2,169 feet of continuous safe and accessible walkway," "over two miles of bike lanes," five bus shelters, and four bus bulb-outs - to be implemented in partnership with the city Transportation Department (LADOT).

HHH New Hampshire - $31 million
BRIDGE Housing Corporation

This project (pictured at top of post) will be located at the southwest corner of 7th Street and New Hampshire Avenue in Koreatown - two blocks from the Metro Vermont/Wilshire B/D Line Station. Plans include the adaptive reuse of a handsome 1911 two-story residential building alongside a new six-story apartment building. The overall project includes 95 residential units.

AHSC funds support 93 permanent supportive units. Mobility features include creation of an alternative lower-stress bike network and purchase of seven zero-emissions buses.

Peak Plaza Apartments - $34.5 million
Hollywood Community Housing Corporation (HCHC)

The project will be located at 306 E. Washington Boulevard, along the Metro Blue Line, roughly midway between L.A. Trade Tech and San Pedro Street stations - in South L.A. at the edge of downtown. The site has long been proposed for affordable transit-oriented housing.

The AHSC grant will support 98 affordable homes, and will create an east-west bikeway on 21st Street, reconstruct sidewalks, and purchase nine buses to improve two nearby bus lines.

L.A. County project

Metro at Florence - rendering via Urbanize

Metro at Florence - $30.8 million
Meta Development

The L.A. County Metro at Florence project will be located at the corner of Florence Avenue and Maie Avenue, immediately west of the Metro A Line Florence Station. Plans call for a six-story building with 160 units.

AHSC funds will create 158 new affordable units, construct a new bicycle boulevard, sidewalk repair, curb ramps, sidewalk extensions, and will purchase nine new zero emission Metro buses.

For more information on AHSC Round 7 grants, see also: Streetsblog California post, L.A. City press release, and Strategic Growth Council press release, staff report, and appendices with project spreadsheet and project descriptions.

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