Fully entitled supportive and affordable housing development will build 140 homes on City-owned parking lot, key to Mayor Bass’s housing and homelessness strategy  

Superior Court decision available here

Venice Dell Community websitefact sheet

LOS ANGELES, CA — Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Fruin issued a ruling late on Tuesday, granting a complete victory to the City of Los Angeles and its partner affordable housing providers. The court rejected the plaintiffs’ multi-year effort to block Venice Dell Community, a City-approved affordable and supportive housing development. The Venice Dell Community will provide 140 much-needed new affordable homes in Venice, on a city-owned parking lot.

Becky Dennison, Executive Director of Venice Community Housing, made the following statement:

“The Court has validated what hundreds of Venice residents and thousands more across the region have shown up time and again to support: the urgent work to bring our unhoused neighbors inside. Venice Dell will bring 140 affordable homes to our community and is the culmination of the common dreams of more than 2,500 people who shaped this development over the past 7+ years. With this victory, we are excited and hopeful that Mayor Bass will direct her teams to take the actions needed to get these desperately needed affordable homes across the finish line and help fulfill our community’s vision of a Westside for all.”

Sarah Letts, Executive Director of Hollywood Community Housing Corporation, made the following statement:

“Venice Dell is ready to move forward! This location was one of the first to be identified by the City in 2016 as an appropriate city-owned property for housing. Of that early group, it’s among the last to move forward due to unfounded litigation that the court has now completely rejected. It has won community and elected official support at six meetings of the City Council and two meetings of the Planning Commission, and it offers the housing we need in a part of Los Angeles where the gap between rich and poor has widened. Los Angeles has locked arms to bring our neighbors inside — we’re proud that now Venice Dell can be part of that effort.”

The case was brought by the Coalition for Safe Coastal Development against the City of Los Angeles, with Venice Community Housing and Hollywood Community Housing Corporation identified as real parties in interest. Both long-time local non-profit developers were represented in this matter by pro bono counsel from Latham & Watkins with additional pro bono support from Alston & Bird.

Turning city-owned land into safe, dignified housing

The Venice Dell Community will include 140 affordable apartment homes for low-income artists, lower-wage households, and individuals and families who have experienced homelessness. The property will serve Venice residents and visitors with small-scale retail, green and open space, and public parking, and will also alleviate homelessness by implementing a housing and service model that has a proven track record of saving public funds and improving lives.

Venice Dell will be developed on City-owned land at 200 N. Venice Blvd., first identified in 2016 by the City Administrative Office as one of the original Affordable Housing Opportunity Sites. The City initiated a competitive bid process in 2016, and after reviewing numerous proposals for this site, approved the CAO’s recommendation to select the development team of Venice Community Housing and Hollywood Community Housing.

Only a few procedural steps remain to advance Venice Dell to groundbreaking. To date, the Disposition and Development Agreement with the City has been signed, the entitlements approved by City Council and upheld by the Court, the community engaged and consulted, and a portion of the financing awarded. The Coastal Commission staff will submit a report and recommendation and schedule a hearing, as soon as the City takes certain administrative actions that they have been delaying.

Restoring racial and economic diversity to Venice

Although Angelenos have made it clear at the ballot box and in polls that they want more permanent housing as a solution to homelessness, Venice saw zero production of 100% affordable multi-family housing from 2001 to 2022 as rising prices turned a once-diverse community increasingly wealthy and white.

Gentrification has eroded Venice’s history as an inclusive neighborhood, as one of the only beach communities not fully bound by racially restrictive covenants. Even by the early 1990s, it remained both racially and economically diverse, with incomes ranging from the lowest in the region to the highest. Oakwood, the historic Black neighborhood within Venice, was 75% Black and Latinx in 1990, but by 2017 was 75% white.

Venice Community Housing provides housing for 1,200 tenants and is a mainstay of keeping Venice economically and racially diverse. The overwhelming majority of VCH tenants are Latinx and Black, with about 50% of households served headed by or including people with disabilities. Venice Community Housing’s efforts to create new 100% affordable housing in Venice has won wide community support far in excess of opposition, adding over 80 units of supportive and affordable housing in Venice since 2022.

While significant, these new units in no way make up for the lack of housing development and loss of units for the previous 20 years. Venice Dell would help make a much bigger impact, and continue the process of ensuring access to the Coastal community of Venice for people of all income levels.

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Founded in 1988, Venice Community Housing works to invest in permanently affordable housing, advance health and housing-based solutions for unhoused people, promote youth development and education, and build strategic partnerships based on equity and inclusion.   With over 300 homes in operation and another 400+ in development, VCH develops neighborhood-based housing that supports low-income people and helps make our communities stronger and more inclusive for everyone.

Hollywood Community Housing Corporation (HCHC) is a nonprofit organization that transforms communities and transforms lives by developing and operating service-enriched affordable housing throughout Los Angeles County and by serving people who have experienced homelessness, low-income families, people living with HIV/AIDS, seniors, and veterans. With 35 years of experience, HCHC has developed 33 apartment communities that house over 2,500 people in 1,244 safe, attractive, and affordable apartments. The organization employs a strategic approach that focuses on three main pillars: sustainable housing development, comprehensive resident services and excellence in property management.

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