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Weho Housing Corp. Hosts 'Beam Signing'

West Hollywood and county officials promote the Courtyard at La Brea affordable housing project.

The city's nonprofit agency that develops affordable housing held a "beam signing" Friday in West Hollywood to mark the ongoing construction of the Courtyard at La Brea apartment building.

Elected officials, Weho and Los Angeles County staff members as well as people affiliated with the West Hollywood Community Housing Corp. (WHCHC) filled the sanctuary at Congregation Kol Ami synagogue, which is directly across the street from the construction site.

"This is a typical project in the city of West Hollywood—this is not the kind of thing that happens in every community around the county of Los Angeles," County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said. "There are many communities that shun their obligation to provide affordable housing for the very-low-income, the low-income, for people who are homeless, for people who are one layoff notice away from being homeless."

north of Santa Monica Boulevard will have a two-bedroom manager's apartment, three studio units and the rest will be one-bedroom apartments.

Environmentally friendly features include solar panels for electricity and water heating, water- and energy-conservation systems, recycled materials, an edible garden and a composting program.

"About half of the apartments are reserved for people with special needs and three will be reserved for transition-age youth, which is a population we haven't worked with before," WHCHC Executive Director Robin Conerly told Patch. "These are youth between the ages of 18 and 24 who normally come out of the foster care system."

In addition to the city of West Hollywood and L.A. County, Union Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco provided funding for the $14.8 million project.

West Hollywood City Council members were among speakers who shared remarks before the beam signing took place.

"Besides the political will and money, it's really the vision that [the city council] set out there that this is something that the city needs to achieve," WHCHC board chairman Ramon Mendez said before council members delivered remarks.

"This is an important core value of the city of West Hollywood—providing for those people who are most in need," Mayor Jeffrey Prang said.

"There is no greater sense of accomplishment for somebody who's elected to public office when you're doing something that's good, at a high price sometimes, but it's still the right thing to do," Councilman John Duran said.

"The folks that are coming into this project, we will be transforming their lives," Mayor Pro Tempore Abbe Land said. "And I'm so especially proud of the housing corporation, that you are willing to take in the folks that are really the most disenfranchised—people with mental illness, people who are homeless. Not every housing corporation would do that."

Applications for residency will be available in late spring, Conerly said. Qualified residents are chosen by a lottery.

Conerly expects lots of applicants, noting that the WHCHC received 1,200 applications for its Hayworth House building and 2,000 for the Sierra Bonita Apartments.

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me January 05, 2013 at 04:21 AM
1,200 - 2,000 applicants for the other 2 buildings and these were just the people lucky enough to hear about it from someone......so way to go weho, your 32 units are really going to address the need.....why didn't you spruce up some current buildings instead designing one from the ground up with all of the bells and whistles and provide MORE UNITS??.......aw, but wait....it's located on busy la brea ave and its NOT MIXED USE????.... no stores on the ground floor for a continual income source???? ....haven't you been cramming the mixed use crap down our throats for years now????
jose January 05, 2013 at 05:23 PM
These are the kind of things that make me proud to live in West Hollywood. Congradulations to all involved.
Sheila Lightfoot January 05, 2013 at 07:24 PM
Funny how there isn't one thought given to the scores of West Hollywood residents evicted for condos - many, I'm sure, are low and very-low income or even special needs residents who have spent many years of their lives here. Poof, they're kicked out... and nobody cares about what happens to them. Most certainly can't afford to stay in WeHo at market rate rents. Meanwhile, we do projects like this and make a spectacle of congratulating ourselves for spending a fortune to provide housing for a handful of people from across LA County. Helping even a few in need is laudable, but surely we can do better. We must do better.
Riley January 05, 2013 at 07:47 PM
$452,000 per unit? Seems that $226,000 per unit could have helped twice as many people. I am also Interested in knowing how the homeless people would hear about this and how they would get an application. How would the homeless get to the office to pick up that application? And what would the homeless person put down as a current address and current income? Isn't this project wrapped up in some bond money the State is not going to shell out? Millions of dollars worth short? Yes, it is good to help the poor. It just seems so out of whack -- the ratio of how many people it helps compared to the cost. That wedding cake design seems a bit schmaltzie for low income housing, particularly in light of all the bland, for profit building going on around it. Is this the " State of Denmark" because something doesn't add up.
Riley January 05, 2013 at 07:54 PM
@jose, Really? Building extravagantly priced projects to help five dozen, possible-non-residents of weho, makes you proud? Over 13% of weho residents live below the poverty line. I would be proud if we could help them with that $14, 800, 000.00 dollars.
George January 05, 2013 at 08:20 PM
I agree with Sheila. Why not renovate a vacant building somewhere around WH rather then build a building from the ground up? There is no easy solution to help everyone that needs help as there are so many people in need. I see more and more people living on the streets that have been on the streets at least 5 years that I know of. That's heart breaking to me. Sadly, what happens often is when you put people in subsidized housing they many times go back to the street, the corner they like. So many are mentally ill. It's hard to help people like that. They people who are struggling to hang on who are presently in housing they can't afford that are disabled is another story. A person has to jump through hoops to qualify for housing programs but they do exist. It's just a time consuming effort, paper work and can take years.... People is that kind of situation might end up becoming homeless involuntary, eviction etc.......
jose January 05, 2013 at 10:16 PM
What a bunch of good for nothing spoiled brat comments.....you all need to have another drink and a cigarette and calm down.....lol.
Ali January 05, 2013 at 11:02 PM
@me - the building is not mixed use, SO WHAT! It will be surrounded by mixed use buildings. It is across the street from the one that used to be Jons Market...just down the street from the Karl's Jr. mixed use project. Not every building has to be mixed use! You people are really something. Just because it is for the less fortunate, you are all up in arms about the fact that it is a new building with eco-friendly and aesthetically decent design. You sometimes disgust me! I am a Section 8 tenant who's landlord is hell bent on getting me out of my apartment that I have lived in for 34 years. Next month my rent goes up by $52 (my share). I am disabled living on Social Security Disability. That is my only income. My check just went up $18. My rent goes up $52. He won't make any improvements or make any repairs in my unit, even those that the City has ordered. The City gave up on getting him to comply. So much for our Rent Control and maintenance laws. I say more power to the people who will get to live in the new building even if it is on such a loud, high traffic street. And Paul.....don't say those words to Jose....you are the one most often acting like a jack ass on these boards saying stupid stuff.
jose January 05, 2013 at 11:13 PM
Thank you Ali....you said it better than i could.
jose January 06, 2013 at 12:48 AM
nice try stephie....thats some spin on what the woman was saying.
me January 06, 2013 at 01:09 AM
ali, i wish you would have taken the time to read, and then re-read what people are saying and really comprehend and absorb it before writing such a knee-jerk response.....and you've done this before
Marie Cunningham January 06, 2013 at 02:25 AM
Hello all, Already had to delete a comment on this thread. Please, NO NAME CALLING. Accounts will be suspended. Best, Marie
larry gust January 06, 2013 at 03:27 AM
yes me......you are correct.......and regarding the 1200 applicants for the Hayworth House........oddly, nearly all of those that got in there are guess what?....ask their neighbors......who are not happy......funny...the cars many drive that live there....sure don't look like low income to me.....maybe they were gifts.
jose January 06, 2013 at 05:33 AM
Stephie you're a real charmer.....how old are you?....lol
George January 06, 2013 at 06:44 AM
Ali, I think your probably just lazy and don't want to work. I don't blame your landlord. I would want to get rid of you to if I were him. I feel sorry for him or anyone who has to deal with you for that matter.
George January 06, 2013 at 07:03 AM
I feel some sympathy for landlords because here in WH anyway if a person doesn't feel like paying there rent for whatever reason they can lie and make stuff up and live rent free before actually getting evicted by the marshall. Meanwhile, the landlord has lost income. I know this because 4 people who live in my building who haven't paid rent in 5 months and have made up lies about the landlord to stall being kicked out. He's the nicest man and very helpful landlord quick to make repairs. Just saying there are people who take advantage of the laws in WH.
Ali January 07, 2013 at 01:14 AM
Oh really Paul? I have cancer and fibromyalgia. I was born with a bad back. I had back surgery before I was 30 where they fused my spine. It was only partially successful. I worked for over 20 years in constant pain. It got to the point I couldn't take it any more. I only got on Section 8 only 5 years ago after waiting 10 years on the waiting list. I made do. I filed for bankruptcy waiting while waiting for approval for permanent disability because it took Social Security 3 years to approve me. But I paid my rent every month ON TIME. I still pay on time every month even though my landlord won't make any repairs the city ordered him to. Everything was fine until my landlord passed away and his son took over management of the building. He has not liked me from the day his parents bought the building and has lied at rent control board hearings twice. Now his personal feelings about me are interfering with the management of the building. He is currently trying to rent out an apartment in the building with unfinished floors (sanded but no stain or polyurethane to seal the floor. He also painted the apartment pink to discourage any men from wanting it. No women want it either LOL. That is the kind of guy I deal with. He doesn't care about WeHo laws or Federal law for that matter. He is trying to discriminate as to who rents his apartment.
George January 07, 2013 at 02:10 AM
Sorry you are ill Ali. You attacked me and I reacted. There are awful landlords but nice ones to who get taken advantage of by some people I have discovered. Feel better!
joninla January 17, 2013 at 11:09 PM
This WEST HOLLYWOOD HOUSING CORPORATION is a total misnomer (total b.s. could also be used) for being anything but a disguised means for the large developers of the Mega-Mixed-Use and large Luxury Hotels to get around zoning limits via the 'not for profit' private & corrupt city joint venture. WeHo suffers from the money the city spends, the land it offers, and the resulting overbuilding (currently the La Brea Mega Projects). 1. There is a private special list of potential residents of the 'new units' and if you go to the weho housing corp site you can see how the list is not for current weho residents, but the entire county of L.A. and read the details, as it seems shady, has a history of mystery and but for a few people, the units go to outsiders or often special interests in weho who are anything but needy. By this corrupt joint venture, the city pays and supports part/all of these new low income unit developments and in exchange the large developers who have paid off the City Council (at least the ones who understand this complex legal entity) and our not so popular city manager GET THE CREDITS FOR THE UNITS WHICH UNDER CA REDEVELOPMENT LAW ALLOWS THE PRIVATE DEVELOPERS TO BUILD THE MEGA-ZONE-EXCEEDING PROJECTS ..... but without having to include them on-site or pay for part/all of their construction.

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