TRUST South LA works to build community control over land to ensure affordable, healthy housing opportunities and related community-serving uses. We have raised $5 million in equity from private and public sources for land acquisition, in conjunction with our affordable housing development partner Abode Communities. With Abode, we are currently working to complete two large-scale multi-family mixed-use projects.
Slauson & Wall is a 7 acre Brownfield site, formerly held by LA’s Community Redevelopment Agency, which will be a 4 acre park and 3 acres of housing. TRUST South LA has built strong leadership among neighbors, and the Slauson & Wall Neighbors Organizing Committee has led neighborhood clean-up efforts, community design of the park and the housing, and a successful fight for the project during the 2012 demise of the CRA. With development projected over the next 5 years, the 4 acre park with be owned and managed by the City of LA’s Recreation and Parks Department; and the remaining 3 acres with by owned by TRUST South LA, with housing for 120 families and a community center owned and managed by Abode Communities.
Additionally, after a 15 month tenant-led campaign, the multi-billionaire slumlord owner of Rolland Curtis Gardens agreed to sell the 2.3 acre property to TRUST South LA and Abode Communities – preserving 48 units of affordable housing 1 block from USC and in front of the new Expo/Vermont light rail stop. This acquisition would not have been possible without tremendous investment from the tenants in the campaign. In early 2013, we facilitated an extensive participatory planning sessions with tenants, neighbors and other community stakeholders to envision the future Rolland Curtis Gardens, which will include 140 units of family affordable housing, open space, 9000 square feet of community-serving commercial space at this key Transit Oriented location.
Through the Community Mosaic Multi-Family Project, we will cost-effectively acquire, rehab, and convert small multi-family developments to limited equity housing cooperatives in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods in the northern part of South Los Angeles. In this alternative ownership model, the land will be owned by T.R.U.S.T. South LA and the building will be jointly owned and managed by the tenant-owners. This community-ownership model addresses speculative real estate practices, the loss of affordable housing, and neighborhood instability. Conversion to community-ownership will support housing preservation, neighborhood revitalization, ensure affordability for future tenants, and provide opportunity for wealth generation through low-cost home ownership.
Properties purchased through Community Mosaic will be rehabilitated and converted to community-ownership. Rehabilitation of purchased properties is essential to ensuring safe, clean housing and to making energy and water efficiency upgrades. The buildings will operate as limited equity housing cooperatives, allowing the housing to be affordable for future owners and empowering residents with financial, property management, and governance responsibility over their housing. Community Mosaic is committed to preparing residents for cooperative ownership through trainings on budget, finance, and property management oversight. As Limited Equity Housing Cooperatives are a new concept in South LA, it is important that residents be educated on the subject and be prepared to take part in it.
T.R.U.S.T. South LA and its partners have established Community Mosaic’s financial and legal structure, a plan to organize residents, and secured funds to purchase Community Mosaic’s first multi-family property as a demonstration. The Community Mosaic Demonstration Project is expected to deliver a transformative, replicable model that will deliver affordable units at significantly lower costs per unit than tax credit-financed new construction.
T.R.U.S.T. South LA has plans to apply community-ownership to single family housing to deliver a model that creates two cost-efficient, community-controlled, affordable single family homes on each lot. The Community Mosaic Single Family Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) model will rehabilitate existing single family homes and utilize modular construction to add new housing (an ADU or “grannyflat”). To pursue this strategy, T.R.U.S.T. South LA is advocating for funding and changes to regulatory design barriers to make it easier to construct ADUs in Los Angeles.