Two and a half years after Los Angeles voters approved a ballot measure raising $1.2 billion to fund affordable housing for homeless residents, construction is complete on the first building funded by the measure.
Local officials gathered in Sun Valley Thursday to celebrate the opening of the new Irmas Family Campus, a $52 million campus with a mix of permanent supportive housing, temporary bridge housing, a health clinic, and other on-site services.
“This is a place of warmth, growth, and essential service,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti, promising more ribbon-cuttings in the near future.
“When people say ‘where are the projects?’ They are coming,” he said. “The ability for us to build this is as fast as our ability to say ‘yes.’”
The multi-building campus has capacity for 49 permanent residents and 250 people staying in bridge housing. There’s also space for an additional 12 families in the bridge housing section. It broke ground in 2016 and was constructed in phases by nonprofit homeless service provider LA Family Housing.
Shortly after voters passed Proposition HHH, city officials agreed to spend $1.3 million on a service center for the campus, covering a little over one-quarter of the center’s estimated cost of $4.8 million.
The center includes shelter housing and support for residents. Permanent housing at the campus was not funded by HHH, meaning Angelenos will have to wait a little longer for the first affordable units produced by the measure. HHH is primarily aimed at subsidizing housing, but also includes funding for related facilities like those unveiled Thursday at the Irmas campus.
City officials have authorized funding for more than 100 projects under the measure,containing more than 5,000 units combined. Construction is underway on 1,347 of those units, according to the city’s housing department.
Backers of the initiative promised that it would allow the city to supplement the roughly 300 supportive housing units subsidized annually with city funds. With more than $1 billion of added revenue, raised through a property tax-funded bond, local officials aimed to produce 10,000 new units over the next decade.
Since then, construction costs have risen nationwide and changes to the federal tax structure have made low-income housing pricier to build. As a result, HHH is on track to come up well short of its 10,000-unit target—though additional revenue from the state could bring the city closer to hitting that total.