The City Council agreed Monday to make another $1 million loan to the West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation (WHCHC) so that it can begin construction of its Blue Hibiscus project.
The construction budget for the 22-unit affordable housing project at 1125 N. Detroit St. is $12.9 million. The city agreed in 2014 to lend $1 million toward construction of the project and earlier had committed $232,000 toward the Detroit Bungalows, which this project will replace. Other sources of funding include L.A. County ($2.4 million) and the California Department of Housing and Community Development ($880,000). WHCHC also proposes to take a loan of $6 million to fund construction of the project. The city’s latest $1 million loan, from its Affordable Housing Trust Fund, is a temporary measure. It hopes to replace part of that loan with money from a fund held by the West Hollywood Community Development Corp., which was dissolved along with other redevelopment agencies by the state in 2012. That fund includes $5.6 million set aside for affordable housing on the city’s Eastside, which the city can use after getting approval from the state. West Hollywood already plans to use $3.5 million of that for the Courtyard at La Brea project.
As of June 30, West Hollywood had $2 million in its affordable housing trust fund. The city has committed to putting $1 million from its General Fund into the affordable housing trust fund each year, which includes money paid by developers in lieu of building the affordable housing units required by the city in projects of 10 or more units.
Blue Hibiscus is intended to house low-income people living with HIV/AIDS, those who are mentally ill and young people emerging from foster care who are without a home. The project is on schedule to break ground in the fourth quarter of this year.
he West Hollywood Community Housing Corp is a non-profit organization whose mission is to build affordable housing for those with low incomes and special needs. It currently manages 17 projects in and around West Hollywood, including the Detroit Bungalows.
The Blue Hibiscus project was the focus of controversy early on because it will replace the Detroit Bungalows, two 1920s era buildings with a total of eight units that have been in relatively poor condition. Opponents moved to support the project after illustrations were released of a design that many found compatible with the neighborhood.