Mercy Housing California has broken ground on a 63-unit, 41,000-square-foot affordable housing community located at 3552 Whittier Blvd. in Los Angeles. The development is the second of a planned five to be built with funds from the city’s $40 million HHH Innovation Challenge. The fund allows for the community to be constructed under a modular, prefabricated model, which will be added to the on-site foundations. Abode Communities is providing architectural and design services and Suffolk Construction is overseeing the property’s construction, with Factory OS building the apartment interiors. The community is scheduled for completion by August of 2023.
The project will consist entirely of studio apartments, accommodating those who have experienced homelessness in the past. Common areas will include a lounge, a laundry room, a kitchen and landscaped outdoor areas. Additionally, residents will have access to on-site supportive services. Located north of the city’s Boyle Heights neighborhood, the community will be within walking distance of numerous public parks, schools and employers. The development will be located within 10 miles of downtown Los Angeles.
Los Angeles’ affordability ails
At a time when Los Angeles remains one of the least affordable cities in the nation, it is experiencing a shortage of nearly 500,000 units with only 133,909 currently available, according to data from The Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative. A June 2022 Yardi Matrix report shows that the city has 5,414 affordable units in its pipeline, 18 percent of total developments.
Such a shortage has motivated the use of construction practices and designs such as those being adopted at 3552 Whittaker Blvd. Mercy Housing and Suffolk recently collaborated on similar projects, including 7th and Brannan in San Francisco, a 221-unit community scheduled for completion in 2024.
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