Southern California Program

Ocean Park Community Center

Civic and Community
Santa Monica, CA
December 2015

Finding affordable housing has become increasingly difficult in Los Angeles County due to an increase in homelessness (up 12% in the last two years to 45,000), the reduction in public funding for rental subsidies and the high cost of construction.  In fall 2014, Ocean Park Community Center (OPCC) began piloting a shared housing strategy for its population of chronically homeless and vulnerable clients that does not rely on public subsidies.  OPCC master-leases apartment units and rents them to housing-ready clients.  With a monthly flat fee of $500, individuals get a furnished, well-maintained apartment, a bedroom to share with one other person and basic utilities.  Many of the clients are able to retain approximately 40% of their monthly income to spend on food, extras and savings.  A multidisciplinary team conducts regular home visits to provide supportive services during the client’s tenancy in the shared unit.  With the support of this two-year grant from the Keck Foundation, OPCC will expand the project to 80 additional individuals while maintaining the 32 individuals placed to date in shared living arrangements.  OPCC believes that this is a viable, scalable solution to the issues of homelessness and lack of affordable housing in Los Angeles County.

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