Venice Community Housing’s Rose Avenue Apartments Proposal Approved by VNC

Venice Community Housing wants to redevelop administrative offices on Rose Avenue into permanent supportive housing. Photos: Venice Community Housing.

Permanent supportive housing for 34 formerly homeless households.

By Sam Catanzaro

At the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) General Board Meeting on Tuesday, November 20, proposals for the Rose Avenue Apartments was discussed and considered.

Venice Community Housing (VCH), the non-profit that looks to reduce homelessness, maximize affordable housing and empower low-income constituents in Venice, wants to redevelop what is currently their administrative offices at 718-720 Rose Avenue into the Rose Avenue Apartments. While bringing VCH new office space on the first floor, the centerpiece of this project is the inclusion of permanent supportive housing for 34 formerly homeless households. 50 percent of the housing would be for transitional aged youth, and 50 percent would be for those who have experienced chronic homelessness.

“Rose Apartments will help VCH continue to address the overwhelming need for permanent supportive housing for people who are experiencing homelessness or chronic homelessness, especially for those on the Westside of LA, one of the regions most under-served by permanent supportive housing development,” VCH writes on their website.

The proposal, designed by architecture firm Brooks + Scarpa, includes four one-bedroom units, 30 studio units, a large recreation room a laundry room, offices for supportive services and other staff and an open courtyard with greenery. Initial plans called for 2,573 square feet of office space but has been reduced to 1,885 square feet to incorporate all of the 17 required parking spaces onsite. In addition, VCH will continue to lease the seven parking spaces from Whole Foods across the street the organization has been renting since 2002.

VCH sees increasing the number of permanent supportive housing units on the Westside as not only a way to help individuals in need, but also as a way to save the City of Los Angles money.

“Providing housing and supportive services to those who are most vulnerable helps establish and maintain stability and health, reduces costs for ER visits, hospitalizations, and jail stays, and contributes to the overall inclusive and equitable development of the neighborhood,” VCH writes on their website.

At the meeting on the 20th, supporters of the project spoke about the urgent need for youth housing in Venice, pointing out that over the past 20 years there has been no new affordable housing built in the area despite the gentrification that has ocured. Opponents expressed frustration that VCH has not consulted with nearby residents about the development while also raising concern about insufficient parking. Before voting on the proposal, the VNC discussed points from both supporters and opponents before approving the project with a 9-4-1 vote.