August 21, 2019

Investing in our communities to help end homelessness

Kaiser Permanente to help provide more affordable housing in Los Angeles and San Diego.

The Angel Apartments project in L.A. will transform 22,260 square feet of underutilized commercial space into 53 units of permanent supportive housing.

To help address the homeless epidemic, Kaiser Permanente is providing funding to Enterprise Community Loan Fund, resulting in 2 impact investments totaling $4.3 million in Southern California to provide more affordable and secure homes for those most in need of shelter.

These investments — in the form of a loan — will create and preserve 75 affordable and/or permanent supportive housing units in areas of Los Angeles and San Diego that have some of the highest rates of homelessness and the least affordable housing in the United States.

“Stable, affordable housing is essential to a person’s health,” said John Yamamoto, vice president of Community Health and Government Relations at Kaiser Permanente in Southern California. “Yet, many of the communities we serve are grappling with high rates of housing insecurity and homelessness. These efforts are designed to help change that.”The Los Angeles and San Diego developments are the first impact investments in Southern California from the recently created $100 million RxHome Fund. The RxHome Fund is part of Kaiser Permanente’s $200 million Thriving Communities Fund addressing housing stability, homelessness, and other community needs in Kaiser Permanente’s footprint. The goal of the RxHome Fund is to create and preserve 3,250 healthy and affordable homes over the next decade in Kaiser Permanente’s service areas nationwide.

In Los Angeles, $1.1 million will be invested in a Los Angeles Family Housing development in the North Hills area of the San Fernando Valley. The Angel Apartments project will transform 22,260 square feet of underutilized commercial space into 53 units of permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless residents, as well as chronically homeless veterans. The development will feature 4 residential floors and on-site support services that include intervention, education and employment assistance, substance abuse and health treatment, after-school academic support, and community activities.

“Affordable and supportive housing is important for veterans,” said Michael, a formerly homeless veteran who was able to secure housing with assistance from Los Angeles Family Housing. “Veterans are likely to become chronically homeless because in military service, we learn to live in a harsh environment, have a higher tolerance for difficult situations, and have a certain degree of pride. Coming back from service, it can often be difficult to adjust back into society, so having the support and resources to help us work through our experiences is extremely important. I appreciate the dedicated people who make affordable housing for veterans possible.”

In San Diego, $3.2 million will be invested to preserve 22 units of affordable housing at the 43rd Street Apartments in the City Heights area currently housing low- and moderate-income families. The developer, Housing Innovation Partners, plans to keep the rents for this housing stable for residents. Supporting housing developments that preserve existing affordable housing helps communities prevent more people from falling into homelessness.

“We’re just getting started,” Yamamoto said. “The Los Angeles and San Diego projects are the first 2 investments aimed at reducing homelessness and supporting housing for health. We’re actively searching for future affordable housing projects and partnerships throughout Southern California.”