WeHo Community Housing Corp. Faces Shortage of Funds

The West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation (WHCHC) is facing a shortage of money to maintain the low-income apartments it owns in West Hollywood and build new ones.

WHCHCThe City of West Hollywood recently made a loan of $1 million to that fund to enable WHCHC to purchase the property at 1123 and 1127 N. Detroit St. for what is called the “Blue Hibiscus” project. With that $1.24 million purchase, expected to close in December, the Affordable Housing Trust Fund will be empty according to a report prepared by WHCHC.

WHCHC is in the process of working with the L.A. LGBT Center to replace the eight-unit building on Detroit Street, now home to ten residents, with a building of 22 to 45 units for people with special needs including mental illness, HIV/AIDS and homeless young people.

One blow cited by WHCHC to its hope for additional funds was the decision by Gov. Jerry Brown to veto a bill introduced by state Assembly member Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) that would have freed up $750 million in redevelopment funds for various cities around the state, including West Hollywood. The state legislature in 2012, in an effort to address California’s financial problems, voted to dissolve local redevelopment agencies that previously were able to receive a portion of property tax revenues to spend them on blighted areas or to build low-income housing.
Brown’s decision left cities such as West Hollywood unable to use redevelopment funds.

WHCHC says it needs money to keep existing properties in good shape. Sixty-six percent of the 365 housing units it currently has in West Hollywood were built or rehabbed more than 10 years ago, and 155 are more than 15 years old. It has received a grant from the Ahmanson Foundation to help with the rehab of the Harper Community Apartments at 1260 N. Harper Ave. south of Fountain and also is seeking a grant to rehab the Havenhurst Apartments at 1435 N. Havenhurst Dr. south of Sunset.

WHCHC said it is considering leasing space on the roof of the Sierra Bonita Apartments at 1338 N Sierra Bonita Ave. north of Founatin to AT&T to install a cellular telephone transmission tower, which would generate $31,200 a year for the Sierra Bonita’s capital reserves. One issue WHCHC may face is fears that such towers generate radiation that could cause cancer. However, research has shown such fears to be unfounded.

WHCHC also is looking to partner with commercial developers to create and manage low-income apartments. For example, it has struck a deal with Avalon Bay Communities that calls for it to help develop and to manage 77 apartments for low-income seniors at the developer’s Avalon West Hollywood development at Movietown Plaza on Santa Monica Boulevard at Poinsettia.

WHCHC currently manages 14 apartment buildings for low-income and disabled people in West Hollywood with 365 units. There are 3,663 people on the waiting list for those apartments.

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8 years ago

Has West Hollywood Housing Corporation ever been audited? It seems that if they are broke they should not be building more places.

8 years ago

How does one get on the waiting list? Every time I inquire, I am told the list is closed. I think it is a failure of the City that there are so many people in need and the City does nothing but approve these fancy new buildings. Why doesn’t the City, who keep telling us they are flush with money, build low income apartments for the disabled and elderly themselves?

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