LA2050 Grants Challenge applications are open now through June 28th, 2024.
2023 Grants Challenge

Affordable Housing and Equitable Living for Young Angelenos Previously Experiencing Homelessness

Thriving communities depend on equity, inclusion, and the investment in the diverse people who live in them. Building the foundations of young people leaving homelessness and providing safe, affordable housing options is one of the most significant prevention strategies for reducing long-term and chronic homelessness. CHC's innovative youth- centered 12-Unit Affordable Housing Complex represents a vital step in ending youth homelessness and in reducing LA's poverty rate by 2050.


What is the primary issue area that your application will impact?

Housing and Homelessness

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

Central LA

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Pilot or new project, program, or initiative

What is your understanding of the issue that you are seeking to address?

LA County has the highest poverty rate in CA (22.3%), affecting 1 in every 4 children - disproportionately affecting Youth of Color. While less than 6% of CA's youth are Black, they're 83% more likely to become homeless. These disparities highlight the systemic challenges and inequality youth experience at an early age that lead to homelessness. Affordable housing is critical for the more than 1,000 young Angelenos we serve (ages 18 to 24) annually, who have worked incredibly hard to overcome homelessness. LA's high cost of living (monthly rents increasing 16% since 2019 to a median of $2,258 (HUD) and inflation sitting at a 40-year high), make it nearly impossible for many youth to secure and maintain housing, even though employed and ready for their first apartment. For all Angelenos to thrive, there must be equitable solutions, especially for youth who have overcome tremendous odds.

Describe the project, program, or initiative this grant will support to address the issue.

Located mere blocks from our LA campus, CHC's Pico Affordable Housing Complex offers 12 safe and newly remodeled studio apartments for formerly homeless youth who are eager to become contributing members of this vibrant community. With rental rates based on 30% of their income, Pico provides a soft landing for young Angelenos to navigate their newly developed employment and budgeting skills while balancing life's inevitable challenges. We anticipate residents moving in by September, and they will all have access to additional supportive services at the main campus as needed to thrive. Purchased with philanthropic dollars, CHC owns the building. The operating costs are limited and include two personnel positions consisting of a Community Manager and Resident Assistant who will provide light touch support when needed (case management/community resource connections). After the first year of operations, this innovative model is self-sustainable, as the rent paid for the units annually will cover the operating expenses and personnel- making this project a long-term solution in addressing the issues outlined in question 6. Pico represents a systemic approach in reducing generational poverty and chronic homelessness in LA. It demonstrates to youth, as a community, that our collective dedication to their success extends well beyond what exists through traditional housing programs. It's a demonstration that their hard work indeed holds relevance and success in the real world.

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Creating affordable, quality housing of any kind in LA County can be viewed as a success. Making affordable housing opportunities more accessible to resilient youth who have spent years overcoming homelessness, is a long-term solution to preventing housing insecurity and returns to homelessness. Pico benefits young people who deserve access to live affordably and thrive in the community they love. It's also a beautiful benefit to the community. As youth enhance their independence, they work, pay taxes, buy groceries, rent/buy homes, and volunteer. Success for the first year is to have, 100% tenancy, 100% tenants paying rent on time, no returns to homelessness, and organic transitions for youth achieving upward mobility. The long-term impact would be to leverage the project's success for a replicable model that leads to county-wide access to affordable living options. In turn, contributing to LA achieving the lowest poverty, homeless, and inequality rates in the nation by 2050.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

This project will be early-stage during the grant term. Youth will move in by September with full occupancy anticipated by the end of November. Program success and progress are measured through qualitative and quantitative analysis. Are we; (1) ensuring safe, quality permanent housing despite tenant's income level, (2) reducing the risk factors of returns to homelessness and, (3) contributing to a reduction in poverty and homelessness in LA County. Quantitatively, data on tenancy, timely rental payments, and returns to homelessness will be tracked using CHC's internal data tool, ETO (Efforts to Outcome). Regular analysis will be used to inform and improve program outcomes during the year. All agency leadership meets monthly to review and discuss program successes/challenges and ways we will refine deliverable goals and objectives. In-person interviews and focus groups capture narrative engagement for qualitative analysis of upward mobility.

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

Direct Impact: 12

Indirect Impact: 96