Permanent Supportive Housing Through New Modular and Prefabrication Construction - West LA Armory Housing

CEO Capital Projects

County Spending Category
3.4 Capital Projects
Federal Expenditure Category
Long-term Housing Security: Affordable Housing
Project Launch Date
Anticipated End Date

Project Contacts

Indicators & Metrics to Date

  • Number of Households Receiving Eviction Prevention Services (Including Legal Representation)
  • Number of Affordable Housing Units Preserved or Developed

Target Populations

  • People Experiencing Homelessness

Project Description

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the homelessness crisis across Los Angeles County. Community members faced increased rates of unemployment and evictions during the resulting economic downturn. Additionally, data has shown that the majority of people experiencing homelessness (PEH) faced significant challenges with their health and mental health; more than 80% of PEH have some physical health problem, and more than 70% have some mental health problem. Further, the closure of public facilities such as libraries and social services offices had adverse impacts on people already experiencing homelessness as needed services like food programs and interim shelters were no longer as accessible. Thus, the need for interim housing and supportive services has become a great necessity in addressing the ongoing homelessness crisis in Los Angeles County, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. While historically at risk, PEH have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. In May 2022, the County reported over 18,500 cumulative cases of COVID-19 among PEH. After the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of deaths among PEH in LA County increased from 1,271 deaths in the year leading up to the pandemic (March 31, 2019-April 1, 2020) to 1,988 deaths during the first year of the pandemic (April 1, 2020-March 31, 2021). While COVID-19 became the third leading cause of death during this increase – increases in overdoses, homicide, congenital heart disease, and traffic injury deaths were also observed – the COVID-19 pandemic also resulted in an increase in hospital utilization rates amongst high acuity LA County residents. The pandemic exacerbated pre-existing needs and increased co-morbidity factors amongst residents who live in the highest-need communities. As a result, it has become essential to ensure that there is a safety in place such that those who currently or may experience homelessness are able to find stability and space to recover from these impacts of COVID-19, a need that is even more dire in communities like SPA 5 with already limited resources. This project proposes using a portion of the West Los Angeles National Armory property to construct a 167-bed interim housing facility offering comprehensive wraparound services to assist people experiencing homelessness (PEH) in obtaining and retaining permanent housing. The West LA Armory IH project will be operated by the LA County’s Department of Health Services (DHS) Housing for Health (HFH) program, which serves the County’s most vulnerable homeless individuals, with high rates of disability, comorbid diagnoses, and early mortality. The Department of Health Services (DHS) Housing for Health (HFH) Interim Housing Program (IHP) provides temporary short-term shelter to persons experiencing homelessness (PEH) who have complex health, behavioral and/or substance abuse issues. The HFH IHP contracts with community-based providers to deliver Intensive Case Management Services (ICMS) to clients, who are provided with temporary housing that addresses their immediate need for shelter and provides linkages to permanent housing resources. Case management and recuperative care services are also available to participants to ensure that they can access documentation/benefit assistance or other needs that will support their stabilization and eventual transition into permanent housing. This facility will be located in Service Planning Area (SPA) 5, an area with high needs but a very low number of interim beds due to the area’s high land costs and geographic challenges. Based on the 2020 Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) Homeless Count, SPA 5 has a total of 6,009 homeless individuals, of which 5,042 individuals (or 84%) are unsheltered. Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019 Greater LA Homeless Count revealed that the percentage of PEH in SPA 5 increased by 20% from 2018-2019. Yet there are only a handful of shelters in SPA 5, and the most current (2019) LAHSA report on SPA 5 demonstrates the locally unmet need for homeless services. Additionally, the residents of this area of the County are in a very high economic strata, which has resulted in a significant Not in My Backyard (NIMBY) pushback against efforts to increase local capacity to serve PEH. Supervisorial District 3 (SD3) has submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and General Services Administration (GSA) for approval to use a portion of the Armory property to provide a homeless assistance program that includes interim housing and comprehensive homeless services. This proposal has been conditionally approved by GSA pending confirmation of funding by the County of Los Angeles.

Goals & Objectives

Goal Description Place 334 PEH into interim housing beds each year.

Objective Description Screen 100% of incoming interim housing program referrals for eligibility.  Place 6% of incoming, eligible interim housing program referrals

Activity Description Provide access to no cost, short-term housing for vulnerable and medically complex PEH that includes the provision of safe sleeping space, personal item storage, meals, case management, hygiene products, and access to laundering and other residential services

Activity Description Provide clean, comfortable sleeping environment that includes a bed, beside table, reading light, lockable drawer, closet space, access to common living room space, activities areas, bathroom and shower facilities, laundry area.

Activity Description Provide comprehensive on-site health, mental health and substance use services, as well as linkages to services as needed.

Goal Description Ensure 35% of clients transition from interim to permanent housing through the provision of case management and other social supportive services.

Objective Description Support 100% of participants who do not have vital documents (i.e., Social Security Cards, IDs, etc.) in retrieving them during their interim housing stay

Activity Description Support participants in accessing public sources of income for PEH such as Medi-Cal, Social Security Insurance (SSI)/ Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), General Relief (GR), and/or Cal-Fresh by providing referrals to benefits advocacy programs (I.e., Countywide Benefits Entitlement Services).

Objective Description Provide case management services to 100% of participants that will support with their stabilization in interim housing and enable them to make meaningful progress towards their housing goals.

Activity Description Support participants in accessing public sources of income for PEH such as Medi-Cal, Social Security Insurance (SSI)/ Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), General Relief (GR), and/or Cal-Fresh by providing referrals to benefits advocacy programs (I.e., Countywide Benefits Entitlement Services).

Activity Description Provide case management services to support participants with care coordination (e.g. linkages to care, accompaniment to medical appointments).

Activity Description Provide 24/7 security services through a subcontracted security firm.

Goal Description Increase financial security of participants by connecting 100% of participants to mainstream benefits that include General Relief and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).