South Whittier, CA—Today, Supervisor Janice Hahn recommended that the LA County Board of Supervisors approve the next step in her plan to build affordable apartments for transition-age-youth at the site of the former South Whittier Library.
“Homelessness can be devastating to a young person’s future,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “Too many students are forced to choose between paying rent and staying in college. We are turning this unused plot of County land into affordable homes that will allow these young people to focus on their studies and building the type of life they want for themselves.”
The board voted unanimously to lease the site of the former South Whittier library located at 14433 Leffingwell Road to LINC Housing Corporation, a nonprofit developer, for $1 a year for 66 years. The property has been vacant since the library moved to a new site in 2016. This lease agreement marks the end of exclusive negotiations previously approved by the board in January.
LINC will construct a new three-story building of approximately 21,000 square feet in size, which includes a total of 27 affordable apartments reserved for low-income transition age youth (TAY) between the ages of 18-25. All units will be reserved for individuals earning 30 percent or less of Area Median Income. The development will also include a community room, common outdoor spaces, a computer room, laundry room, offices for supportive services and property management, and 10 vehicle parking spaces.
Jovenes, a local nonprofit that specializes in services for young people, will provide mental health services, legal services, and other support for the residents. Jovenes will partner with nearby Rio Hondo College to connect their students with the units.
“Rio Hondo College thanks Supervisor Hahn for bringing this valuable resource to our community,” said Oscar Valladares, President of the Rio Hondo College Board of Trustees. “We look forward to working with Jovenes to identify our most vulnerable students that qualify for these housing units.”
Nearly 1 in 5 of the 230,000 community college students in LA County are struggling with homelessness. Nationally, 29% of former foster youth in community college are homeless. Only 2% of those students are able to complete their degree.