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50-unit affordable housing units will rise up on South LA church’s parking lot


The shovels went into the ground on Monday, Sept. 19 — a signficant step toward adding another 50 affordable units to Los Angeles’s housing stock.

Officials ceremonially broke ground on Monday morning on a mixed-use development that will include a 50-unit affordable housing complex. The project, in the parking lot of Southside Church of Christ, on Manchester Avenue, will also include 1,600 square feet of groundfloor commercial space.

It wasn’t clear, as of Monday evening, when the project would be complete.

The housing development, not far from Inglewood, is part of a partnership involving the Southside Church, developer John Stanley Inc., and Innovative Housing Opportunities, an organization that creates high-quality affordable housing.

The LA Housing Department has also provided millions in loans and bonds for the project, making it a public-private partnership. The City Council OK’d the development, called Serenity, in May.

The project is the latest among myriad other developments that have come online in recent years or are in the planning as Los Angeles — not to mention the county and state — works to address the ongoing housing shortage and related homeless crisis.

More than 10,500 housing units are in development in Los Angeles, with 178 housing projects currently in the works, according to the LA Housing Department.

There were  41,980 without permanent shelter in LA city this year, according to the recently released results of an annual point-in-time survey of the homeless population. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Agency conducted that survey across the county in February — except in Glendale, Long Beach and Pasadena, which conduct their own tallies — and released the data earlier this month.

LA city saw a 1.7% increase compared to 2020 while the 69,144 tallied countywide represented a 4.1% increase. LAHSA did not conduct a count last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This is a true public-private partnership,” Saki Middleton, president of John Stanley Inc., said in a statement. “It will provide homeless seniors with permanent housing and supportive services which will enhance their lives and improve the quality of the neighborhood.”

Saki was among the city, church and developer officials who gathered at the church for the Monday groundbreaking ceremony.

Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, who represents South LA’s District 8, Rochelle Milles of Innovative Housing Opportunities and Rev. Carl C. Baccus of Southside Church also attended the ceremony.

“We are so grateful to God, the church members, community, and the city,” Baccus said, “for joining us in providing quality housing and services in the neighborhood.”

Serenity will house 18 chronically homeless and 18 homeless seniors, as well as 14 non-homeless independent senior households.



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