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Construction Begins on Housing for Homeless Veterans

WAVE NEWSPAPERS — Construction of a $32 million supportive housing complex for homeless veterans in Exposition Park began Dec. 14.

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By Vicky Nguyen

EXPOSITION PARK — Construction of a $32 million supportive housing complex for homeless veterans in Exposition Park began Dec. 14.

The RISE Apartments, at 4050 S. Figueroa St., is intended for those making 30 to 50 percent of the area median income and transitioning into a supportive housing community.

“The groundbreaking for the RISE apartments was yet another giant step in the city’s effort to eliminate homelessness and ensure our most vulnerable people have a shot at living a life of dignity and respect,” said Councilman Curren Price, who represents part of downtown and South Los Angeles.

The development will include 56 fully furnished residential units, a community room, a residential courtyard, roof terraces, bike storage, onsite management and laundry site. In addition, the construction of the building will have solar panels installed and be green certified.

Construction is expected to be completed in about 18 months.

“Affordable housing is a big issue in Los Angeles and this is our way of contributing to that end goal,” said Hassan Nicholas, director of Micro Enterprise Initiatives at RISE Financial Pathways. RISE is the nonprofit community development financial institution organizing the project alongside Highridge Costa Development and housing developer Single Room Occupancy Housing Corp.

Nicholas also explained that the RISE offices will continue to be there to support residents.

“It allows us to serve our constituents in a different way by offering them some permanent housing and still be able to provide direct services to the community by having our offices there,” Nicholas said.

The complex will be partially funded by $9.5 million taken from Proposition HHH, a county measure that voters approved in 2016 which granted $1.2 billion to fund housing for homeless people and other sources, such as a preliminary reservation of four percent of low income housing tax credits in the amount of $917,604 annually over a 10-year period from the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, which is paired with $16.2 million in tax exempt bonds from the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee.

According to the homeless count report by Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority released at the end of May, there has been a 19 percent decrease in homeless veterans and a 6 percent decrease in total homelessness in the city of Los Angeles from 2017. This has been the first time in four years the number has gone down.

LAHSA ascribes the drop to the disbursement of Measure H funds that pay for services for the homeless and an increase in housing placement.

RISE opened in 1993 to provide economic development in South and Central Los Angeles and provides commercial lending opportunities to local businesses. RISE has assisted nearly 100,000 residents and contributed over $14 million to the local economy through fundraising, lending and program development efforts.

RISE was previously known as Community Financial Resource Center.

This article originally appeared in the Wave Newspapers.

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