Affordable Housing for Single Adults Opens in Sun Valley

Palo Verde Apartments, an affordable housing development in the Sun Valley district of Los Angeles, has been completed and opened for residents.

Los Angeles—Palo Verde Apartments, an affordable housing development in the Sun Valley district of Los Angeles, has been completed and opened for residents. The property, developed by the homeless service agency L.A. Family Housing of North Hollywood, offers housing for very low income or previously homeless single adults living with mental illness.

The 60-unit complex is permanent supportive housing, an approach that strives to provide an atmosphere of stability for its residents, with the goal of fostering socialization among them, as well as support and treatment. L.A. Family Housing currently operates 18 other apartment buildings and three shelters, but Palo Verde is the first one for single adults with mental health needs, notes the developer.

Each of the 60 450-square-foot units at Palo Verde is equipped with a kitchenette, bath, storage area and a private balcony or patio. The development also includes offices, community and program space, where residents can access social and recreational, counseling, recovery and employment services.

According to Ali Barar, principal-in-charge of Gonzalez Goodale Architects, which designed the property, a major challenge was planning the building so that provided privacy for the residents while also fostering a sense of community. Part of the answer to that conundrum is the U-shape of the building, which puts the apartments around a large, landscaped central courtyard.

The $17 million development was funded via a complex array of public and nonprofit sources, including the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, which will contribute over $1.2 million in Housing Assistance Payments over a 15-year period. Palo Verde is also a sustainable development, surpassing state of California standards for energy efficiency by 37 percent and aiming for a LEED for Homes gold rating. Green features include solar panels that generate about 40 percent of the building’s electrical needs, Energy Star appliances, high-efficiency mechanical equipment, water-saving plumbing fixtures and drought-tolerant landscaping.