Grand Opening of The Courtyards; Supportive Housing Solution for Diverse Communities
2011-05-23 · By Editor
The Long Beach Housing Development Company (LBHDC) and Clifford Beers Housing, Inc. celebrated the grand opening of an innovative permanent supportive housing development for low-income households including homeless individuals living with mental illness. The Courtyards in Long Beach is a showcase for scattered-site development, comprised of four, single-story courtyard-style apartment buildings, rehabilitated to improve their respective neighborhoods and to provide housing solutions for diverse communities. The celebration was Thursday afternoon.
Built between 1922 and 1923, the courtyard-style apartment buildings have 21 units reserved for low-income adults, and 23 units reserved for homeless people. They are located in the 1100 block of Stanley Avenue, the 1000 block of Redondo Avenue and the 300 block of East Esther Street. Supportive services are provided by Mental Health America of Los Angeles (MHA) and the MHA Village, which is located close to each of the properties.
The buildings were restored using the Enterprise Foundation’s Green Communities Program criteria, a version of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) energy conservation program specifically designed for affordable housing developments. Sustainable elements include water efficient plumbing fixtures; Energy Star lighting and appliances; energy efficient windows, doors, heating and cooling systems; low or no emission paints, flooring and cabinetry; and drought tolerant landscaping. Enhancements also include improved unit configuration and restored architectural features and façades.
“The LBHDC is committed to our mission of providing quality, affordable housing,” said Pat Brown, LBHDC Chair. “This development shows how this type of rehabilitation not only revitalizes a neighborhood, but can help a vulnerable segment of our population stay off the streets, in a place that they can be proud to call home.”
“I feel safe, the people here are nice and I have peace of mind,” says Frankie Watson, a Courtyards resident.
The Courtyards in Long Beach is the first development in California to begin construction with funding from both the federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act and California’s Mental Health Services Act, creating 80 jobs during a period of economic downturn.The Long Beach Housing Development Company also invested $2.27 million in initial funding that was critical to this innovative project’s success.
All four homes are within easy access of the MHA Village, whose supportive services include mental health care, case management, employment training, housing assistance, money management, community reintegration and substance abuse recovery. Refreshments served at the Grand Opening Ceremony were provided by Deli 456, a business enterprise operated by MHA and designed to provide job training opportunities and financial stability for Village members.
“We believe that people living with mental illnesses should be encouraged to rejoin their communities,” says James Bonar, Executive Director, Clifford Beers, “and that recovery from their illness will be better supported in an integrated housing setting where they are able to participate actively in community life.”
Established by the City of Long Beach in 1989, the LBHDC’s mission is to provide safe and livable neighborhoods in Long Beach by promoting, developing, and preserving decent, safe and affordable housing for the very low-, low- and moderate-income residents of Long Beach. The LBHDC offers a range of programs and various forms of financial assistance to encourage the development of affordable housing that improves the quality of life of the residents it serves. Visit www.lbhdc.org for more information.
Clifford Beers Housing is a non-profit development company that builds quality supportive housing that is affordable to low-income households, including the homeless and mentally ill. A project of Mental Health America of Los Angeles, Clifford Beers Housing opened in 2005. For more information, visit www.cbeershousing.org.