City officials Thursday celebrated the opening of a new 24-unit housing complex near downtown Los Angeles for formerly homeless seniors.
City Councilman Gilbert Cedillo, who represents the district where the housing complex is located, led the celebration along with Mayor Eric Garcetti.
“There’s an incredible sense of urgency (for more housing). We all feel it, but building a house isn’t something you can shout at. Building a house requires discipline and a lot of tenacity,” Cedillo said.
Cedillo said by not disrupting the neighborhood to build the units gives it added benefit. The complex, he said, blended in with the local area.
“We’re making progress, and it’s not going to happen overnight but this problem didn’t happen overnight,” Cedillo said, adding thanks to Garcetti for addressing the issues. “All of us are faced with our challenges in life and our crosses to bear, and we are doing it with your leadership.”
The city is currently working to build at least 10,000 units of permanent supportive housing by 2026. Criticisms of the effort have included the time it has taken to get initial projects off the ground since voters approved funding the projects three years ago.
“This is a frustrating process, I’ve learned. It’s probably one of the most challenging endeavors to build housing in any city because it takes so much,” Cedillo said.
The Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department contributed close to a quarter of the $12.4 million for the housing complex.
Casa Carmen, located at 1800 11th St., has common areas that include a recreation room, ground-floor recreational courtyard, a laundry room and space for onsite support services. The development was a joint venture between 1010 Development Corporation and Valued Housing II LLC.
“Opening Casa Carmen marks an important milestone in our efforts to confront the homelessness crisis,” Garcetti said on Twitter. “This new permanent supportive housing helps homeless seniors find their way off the streets and into the home they need and deserve.”
During the celebration, Cedillo was also joined by Bob Buente, the CEO of 1010 Development Corporation; Carmen Vaughn, a long-time resident and co-founder of the Pico Union Neighborhood Council; and Carlos Gonzalez, a Casa Carmen resident.
Barker Management will be the property manager for Casa Carmen, and People Assisting the Homeless will provide onsite case management for residents.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: