Abode Communities and Metro bring equitable housing opportunities to families with 76 new affordable and supportive homes near public transit

LOS ANGELES, CA— Abode Communities, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), and elected officials from the region gathered today for a dedication ceremony to welcome families to their new service-enriched affordable homes in Boyle Heights. Developed by nonprofit affordable housing provider Abode Communities, La Veranda mixes 76 service-enriched affordable and supportive homes with community-serving retail on a former vacant, transit-rich site.

“We all know how bad the crisis is in our City,” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Karen Bass. “This is a beautiful example of how when you come together across different agencies, different parts of the government, the public, the private sector — we can all work together in getting this job done.”

Nearly 3,000 rental applications were received for La Veranda’s 38 affordable homes. The remaining 38 permanent supportive homes were leased through the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s Coordinated Entry System.

The residential community is owned and operated by Abode Communities via a 65-year ground lease from Metro. Metro was a major underwriter, providing a land discount in excess of $2.7 million, thereby deepening affordability for households at 20% Area Median Income.

City of Los Angeles Prop HHH funds financed nearly 15% of the overall costs for the project, adding these homes to the initiative’s rising tally that is on track to produce 10,000 new homes with life-saving supportive services by 2026. As of June 2024, HHH dollars have aided in completing 6,817 supportive and affordable homes with 4,550 actively in construction.

“La Veranda is an example of how we can blend much-needed affordable housing and state-of-the-art transportation resources in one space to create dynamic economic and social sparks that can jumpstart entire neighborhoods, especially in historically underserved areas,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and Metro Board Director. “We are addressing the acute need of a lack of affordable housing in low- and middle-income neighborhoods and simultaneously planting the seeds for sustainable economic growth by building transit-oriented communities where people can walk from their front doors to local businesses, eateries, and transit stations that connect them to the rest of the County. This is the beginning of a new era.”

The developer noted deep community investment through workforce development, citing 50% local hiring, 70% local apprenticeships, and a 22% investment in hiring Transitional Workers.

The LEED-rated project boasts a number of amenities including onsite property management, a children’s play area, expansive courtyards, and a community room. Abode Communities will offer resident services aimed to empower youth, build adult capacity, connect communities, and stabilize residents in their housing over the long-term. St. Joseph Center will provide supportive services to help families heal, recover, and build back their livelihoods after experiencing homelessness.

“There is no doubt the housing and services offered at La Veranda will have a lasting impact for generations to come,” said Holly Benson, President & CEO of Abode Communities. “Through our partnership with Metro, we’ve worked to create an equitable, whole community while leveraging our greatest asset — land.”

“Keep supporting projects like this in Boyle Heights because we want to be occupiers, not gentrifiers,” Leticia Andrade, community advocate said through a translator.

La Veranda is located one quarter-mile north of the Metro E Line Soto Station. In 2021, the Metro Board established a goal of expanding Metro’s housing portfolio through the Joint Development program to 10,000 units by 2031, with 5,000 of the units to be restricted at affordable rents for lower and moderate-income households.

“Nearly one out of every two households in Los Angeles County are cost burdened, paying over 30% of their income on housing expenses,” said Ray Sosa, Metro Chief Planning Officer. “La Veranda is the next step in Metro’s ambitious effort to bring more affordable housing options to LA County.”

This $61.4 million community investment was made possible thanks to $9.12 million from voter-approved City of Los Angeles Prop HHH funding. Additional permanent financing includes more than $17 million from California State Department of Housing and Community Development Multifamily Housing and Infrastructure Infill Grant Programs; a $32.3 million construction loan and $23.6 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit Equity investment, both in partnership with Bank of America; and $20.6 million in rental operating subsidies from the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, among more.