In March 1987, CCSCLA began a fight to save 64 low and moderate income housing units slated to be demolished for construction of a school. CCSCLA won a major victory when the Los Angeles Unified School District reversed its decision to take the homes in order to construct a school. The District instead chose an alternate site that would not require any housing demolition. CCSCLA recognized that the community could have both the needed schools and at the same time keep existing housing because there were alternatives such as: 1) build schools up instead of out, 2) re-open closed schools, 3) restructure and/or use different school calendars, and 4) demolish and/or change the usage of some of the dilapidated industrial sites in the community. CCSCLA now builds housing to enable the poor to improve their economic conditions. Since that time, CCSCLA has developed over 700 units of affordable housing. Our first completed development, Roberta Stephens Villas, has been considered a “model for the country” because it goes beyond providing bricks and mortar by providing social programs needed in our community. Roberta Stephens Villas is a joint venture project between CCSCLA and Canaan Housing Corporation (a subsidiary of Second Baptist Church). One Wilkins Place and Central Avenue Village Square, Gwen Bolden Manor, 1410 Apartments, Juanita Tate Legacy Towers (formerly Mt. Zion Towers) and Warwick Terrace Apartments were developed solely by CCSCLA. CCSCLA served as managing general partner or sole developer of each development and handled all financing for project development and construction. CCSCLA also handles property management in-house and personally establishes its tenant programs. CCSCLA has received financial assistance with its housing development activities from the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC)/California Equity Fund, the City of Los Angeles, the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, the State of California Housing and Community Development Department, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Home Loan Bank Affordable Housing Program and private banks.
Features of all of our housing developments: Affordable housing for 35%, 50% and 60% of area median income families, central air and heat (not acquired and renovated properties), affordable rents, 1 bedroom through 5 bedroom units are aslarge as 1,600 sq. ft., sundecks, courtyards and play areas, recycling programs and tenant associations. Realizing how unemployment can have a direct impact on ones ability to maintain shelter, we have organized a job referral program in conjunction with the Employment Development Department to help assist anyone in the community to find employment. On all CCSCLA construction projects we coordinate employment opportunities between contractors, subcontractors and community residents. CCSCLA provides initial screening to ensure that companies get the best possible candidates. One Wilkins Place housed the printshop job training center in partnership with CCSCLA, Trade Technical Community College and Abraham Freeman Occupational Center. Students from both Trade Technical and Abraham Freeman were able to work in the job training arena and receive work experience and credits.
CCSCLA assisted both schools in preparing bids on printing jobs for government and corporate contracts. The center provided computer services and training to local students and professionals. The name of the print-shop/job training center was “On Time Printing and Copy Center,” characterized by a clock tower in One Wilkins Place and operated until 2001.Central Avenue Village Square Central Avenue Village Square was home of the first wellness center to be established in the South Central Community. The center, called The Well, was started by the UCLA Department ofPsychology. The Well offered women’s self-help health programs such as parenting, weight control, general emotional support, women over 50 forums, mess management, yoga and aerobics. It also offered HIV/AIDS outreach and education. The Well operated until the late 1990’s. Gwen Bolden Manor will provides shared housing for youth who have been release from the guardianship of the foster care system and families.