Local leaders and community members recently joined Hollywood Community Housing Corporation (HCHC), Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas for the Gramercy Place Apartments Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.
The Gramercy Place Apartments, which opened to residents in May of 2021, provides 64 units of housing for seniors aged 55 and over. Of the 64 units, 32 are available to low- income seniors who are formally unhoused. Residents will have access to on-site case management, health and well-being management, and other enriching services throughout their tenancy.
“This project is a fulfillment of promise to some of our unhoused neighbors of providing a place that they can call home. This project is a testament of what Measure HHH funds can do to address the housing crisis in Los Angeles,” said Councilmember Ridley-Thomas.
The Gramercy Place Apartments, located at 1856 S. Wilton Place, also includes about 2,500 square feet of retail space. Of the 62 units for people 55 years old and over, 32 are set aside for formerly homeless households that earn at or below 50% and 60% of the area median income. Two units will be occupied by resident managers.
Mayor Garcetti added that “This property is a great example of how the County and City of Los Angeles can work together to provide quality housing and support services to have a meaningful impact on housing some of our most vulnerable Angelenos.”
HCHC’s mission is to transform communities by creating affordable housing that achieves design excellence and environmental sustainability, while at the same time respecting the history, culture, and architecture of the communities they serve. This property, which was designed by renowned architect Kevin Daly and is equipped with solar panels and rooftop vegetable gardens, is no different.
Sarah Letts, HCHC’s Executive Director, commented that “The process for creating Gramercy Place Apartments was a collaborative journey. Starting with the City identifying land they own that could become affordable housing, to members of the community opening their homes so we could discuss design ideas, to the United Neighborhoods Neighborhood Council (UNNC) ultimately providing their support. We are also grateful to local government where Mark Ridley-Thomas supported us when he was on the County Board of Supervisors, and continues to support the property and the residents as their new City Councilmember.”
Additional funding for the project was provided U.S. Bank, Citibank, City National Bank and Federal Home Loan Bank San Francisco.
Supportive social services for residents will provided by Housing Works and the Los Angeles County Health Services and Mental Health departments.
Councilmember Ridley-Thomas has continuously called for the city to establish a “Right to Housing” policy. In March, he proposed a motion, which was unanimously approved by the City Council, to have the city explore establishing the policy.
Reiterating that goal during the ceremony, he noted “We have to understand that if we want to deal with the issue of homelessness … we have to build more and more projects just like the one we get to celebrate today and we do it with the appropriate services involved,” Ridley-Thomas said. “We need to have housing now.”
Mayor Eric Garcetti agreed.
“Homes end homelessness. I join Councilmember Ridley-Thomas in this movement to make housing a human right,” he said.
The mayor advocated for Section 8 vouchers to be expanded to be available for all who need them. “It might sound expensive, but think of what we pay in criminal justice costs, what we spend in sanitation costs, what we spend on shelters. What we spend every single day is so much more expensive.”