The Newly Built Missouri Place Affordable And Permanent Supportive Housing Opens On the West Side


It was a month before the pandemic hit in 2020 that Thomas Safran and Associates, together with L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and members of the Sawtelle neighborhood broke ground on Missouri Place, a 74-unit affordable and permanent supportive housing complex in West Los Angeles, on what used to be the old West L.A. Animal Shelter property.

The apartment building opened its doors to new tenants this week and is already full.

Garcetti returned to cut the ribbon on the property that features one-, two- and three-bedroom units that include kitchens, bathrooms with granite countertops, solid-wood cabinetry, as well as smart TVs and balconies.  

There’s a community room with a full kitchen, seating areas, a computer lounge, library, pool table, piano and TV room. The gated community also includes a parking garage, laundry facilities, fitness room, playground and barbecue area in a courtyard dotted with olive and magnolia trees. There is secured access, and on-site management and maintenance staff, as well as full time social services support for residents.  

The entire project funded by Proposition HHH funds, project-based section eight vouchers and federal tax credits came to $44 million. In a neighborhood where the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment can be north of $2,000, Missouri Place residents pay from $804 up to $1,900 depending on size of the unit.

Missouri Place

Missouri Place (Michele Stueven)

“Me and my 14-year-old son came here from the shelter in Culver City,” resident David Brown told L.A. Weekly during a tour of his apartment. “I filled out the application and got approved in about 90 days. I’m one of the few who was determined to do what it takes. There are a lot of hoops you have to jump through. I’ve been homeless before and it was a little bit different this time. I got it quicker than I ever got it, I was able to move in pretty fast. Going from downtown to this is a drastic difference. A lot of people give up because of the obstacles of paperwork and losing documents or trying to secure them during the pandemic. There is serenity here for my son, who is an ‘A’ student at school in El Segundo and is thriving. It’s such a blessing.”

In comparison to the public housing built in Los Angeles mid-century like Nickerson Gardens, Jordan Downs and Mar Vista Gardens by the troubled Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, the differences are in fact quite drastic.

Highlighting the frequency of new projects,the mayor estimated ribbon-cuttings in the city only occurred every two months. He now attends openings of permanent supportive housing every week in Los Angeles.  

In 2013, about 300 units opened to the public. This year, 2,000 units will open on city-owned land, with plans to open another 2,000 next year.

Quoting John Maceri from The People Concern, the mayor told the standing room-only crowd, “You can either be pissed about homelessness or pissed about building solutions to homelessness, but you can’t be pissed at both. You have to choose what you want to be angry about. If you don’t want something like this built in your neighborhood, then you’re going to have to accept the homeless living on your streets. It’s time to embrace more of this.”

Missouri Place

Missouri Place (Michele Stueven)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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