A construction project in the heart of Boyle Heights is designed to tackle that area's affordable housing crisis.
La Veranda will allow some families to stay in a community they've called home for years, but can no longer afford.
“73% of households in Los Angeles are rent burdened, spending over 30% of household income on rent and utilities”, said Congressman Jimmy Gomez.
Gomez took a tour of the 77 unit project, half of which will be reserved for families who are formerly homeless.
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These families will also receive support services on site.
“Services like case management, financial literacy, benefits assistance,” said Megan Folland with Abode Communities, the developer which will also manage the site on land owned by metro.
“It’s meant to not only to get them housed but to keep them housed and make sure they remain healthy,” Gomez said.
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You can’t talk about affordable housing in this community without talking about the impact of gentrification.
The battle to keep long term residents from being pushed out by rising rents has intensified in recent years.
“Some landlords take advantage of renters not knowing their rents. so they’ll go and offer $5-15,000 and get booted out,” Gomez said. “We got to protect people from being evicted unnecessarily. I do a lot of ‘know your rights workshops.’”
Educating renters and providing living wage jobs with benefits are what those here say is needed to keep families in their homes.
“This project has put a lot of our members to work. over 120 members that live here in the local community,” said George Bocanegra of the Southwest Regional Council of carpenters.
The first phase of the project, known as La Veranda, is expected to open next spring.