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A new housing development that will meet the needs of Watts area homeless families is celebrating its ground-breaking today, replacing a 40-year old development with 64 units of new affordable housing.
Dolores McCoy Villa I, located at 9315 Firth Boulevard in Los Angeles, is designed for households earning $15,000-45,000 per year, with rents running from approximately $510-985 for the two and three-bedroom apartments. It is expected to be completed next spring.
The ground-breaking event takes place at 11 a.m. at the project site and will include a performance by Mud Town Kings and Queens as well as participants from YouthBuild, a national service organization that is helping with construction of the project. Through YouthBuild, low-income young people work toward their high school or equivalency degrees and learn job skills while serving their communities by building affordable housing.
"Dolores McCoy Villa is a permanent supportive housing project that will provide quality, affordable homes and social services to help families facing dire economic circumstances stabilize their lives," commented Timothy Watkins, President/Chief Executive Officer of Watts Labor Community Action Committee ("WLCAC"), a long-time anti-poverty agency in South Central L.A. that is co-developing the project with Affordable Housing CDC ("AHCDC"). "Particularly now, when so many families are struggling, it is critical that groups like WLCAC and AHCDC help address the increasingly severe need," Watkins said.
"The goal of every AHCDC development is to improve the lives of residents, as well as communities. Our partnership with WLCAC supports this goal, and we're excited to be part of the team developing Dolores McCoy Villa I, stated Joe Stalzer, Executive Director of AHCDC.
Funding for the $27MM project comes from a variety of public and private sources, including the City of Los Angeles Housing Department, U.S. Bank, the County of Los Angeles CDC (Industry Funds), the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and its affiliate, the National Equity Fund (NEF), which invested more than $13 million in the project's low-income housing tax credits on behalf of institutional investors.
"This project could not succeed without the support of our funders and of our local officials," Watkins noted. "Councilwoman Janice Hahn and County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, in particular, have been strong advocates for this development and have long been committed to our broader efforts to deliver affordable housing and economic revitalization to Watts," he said. The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles has also been integral to the success of the project by granting multi-year subsidies to the project.
Dolores McCoy Villa I is part of WLCAC's strategic plan for the revitalization of Watts. The project is being developed in two phases, with the first 64-units to be completed in 2010. Social services to be offered on site will be customized to serve residents who are formerly homeless, formerly incarcerated and low-income. That includes case management, financial management, employment training and placement, academic counseling, access to health care, substance abuse services and other opportunities focused on families and independent living skills.
WLCAC is a non-profit community-based organization established in 1965 by union members living in South Central L.A. Founders sought to improve and revitalize the community by promoting and providing much-needed services to its neglected citizens, and by developing an economic base that would create a healthy, self-sustaining segment of the Greater Los Angeles area. WLCAC has built, owns and manages over 500 houses and apartments for low- and moderate-income families and senior citizens.
Affordable Housing CDC was established in 1992 to provide low and moderate-income families and senior citizens with decent, affordable housing.