Providing Affordable Housing Amid Soaring Rents in Southern California

LOS ANGELES (May 6, 2015) - The Los Angeles Unified School District is acting to alleviate the affordable housing crisis in Southern California.

Walk past the intersection of North Cherokee and Selma avenues, in the heart of Hollywood, for the latest evidence. A busy crew is constructing the Selma Community Workforce Housing Project, scheduled for completion in early fall of 2016.
 
The four-story, 66-unit complex, built by Adobe Communities, a non-profit housing developer, is intended for L.A. Unified employees who fall into a designated economic category. The complex is part of the District’s ambitious effort to attract and retain staff who want to live near work but can’t afford to pay for housing costs.
 
Increasingly, the high rents place more people into poverty. A new report from the California Housing Partnership said statewide the lowest-income households spend two out of three dollars of income on housing. That leaves little money for food, utilities and other expenses.
 
This traps many people into poverty. In fact, the study found 1.5 million low-income households across the Southland cannot find housing they can afford. The problem has worsened as rents rise and incomes stall. For instance, the annual median rent since 2000 has climbed 21 percent statewide, while the typical renter has seen their income drop 8 percent.

Selma is one of the few affordable housing projects under construction in the Southland. It is the second of three planned L.A. Unified workforce housing projects, all of which were approved several years ago by the Los Angeles Board of Education. Last month, the District celebrated the grand opening of the Sage Park Apartments , located on the north side of the Gardena Senior High School campus.
 
That complex features 90 affordable one-,two-and three-bedroom apartments for families. Sixty two of the apartments have been rented by District employees.
 
The third, Norwood Learning Village, is expected to be completed late next year. The 29-unit complex is located near the University of Southern California campus. For more information, go online to www.laschools.org.

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Contact: Community Relations Office (213) 241-6493