Local Foundations Partner to Provide $16 Million for L.A. Housing Plan

Partnership will accelerate the development of permanent supportive housing, a cost-effective measure to address homelessness.

LOS ANGELES – May 10, 2016 – The California Community Foundation (CCF), Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and Weingart Foundation are partnering to provide $16 million in loans and grants to increase permanent housing solutions for our most vulnerable homeless neighbors.

With the City of Los Angeles facing a state of emergency on homelessness, now is the time to act on solutions. Data has proven that permanent supportive housing (PSH) is the most effective way to end chronic homelessness and is a critical piece to kick-starting solutions to this crisis. PSH combines affordable housing with services that help people facing complex challenges to live with stability, autonomy and dignity.

The coalition has proposed an actionable plan – developed in partnership with nonprofit housing developers and lenders – for the City to produce at least 1,000 PSH units per year, a 700-unit increase from current production. The proposal calls upon the City to create new, local revenue streams to fund the increased production of PSH and to build upon the Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Executive Directive 13 to dramatically reduce development timelines for PSH from the San Fernando Valley to the Westside to South Los Angeles.

“We know that permanent supportive housing has a proven track record of helping those most in need, while saving government and tax-payer money,” said California Community Foundation President & CEO Antonia Hernández. “By moving frequent users of city services like jails, emergency rooms and shelters into apartments that provide much-needed social services, we’re helping our homeless neighbors stabilize and eventually become self-sufficient.”

The foundations’ contribution and plan will leverage Mayor Garcetti’s commitment of $138 million to combat homelessness over the next year. The coalition aims to build on this momentum and encourage the City to develop long-term solutions to homelessness.

“Homelessness touches every corner of our City, impacting all of us,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “To combat the crisis, my 2016 budget will include a historic $138 million investment to drive forward our homelessness strategies, but as we bring record levels of City investments to the table, we also need all hands on deck. These foundations are leading the private sector by partnering with us to do more for those who need our help the most. I applaud their work.”

“The City of Los Angeles cannot do it alone. In order to meet our production goals, we need both new funding sources and land use incentives. I applaud the foundations’ leadership for bringing together new money to help us achieve our 1,000 unit per year goal,” said Councilmember Gil Cedillo, City of Los Angeles First District. “This commitment, along with the legislation I have put forth to streamline the permitting process under a new Permanent Supportive Housing Program, will allow the City to define development performance standards with possible ministerial actions. This program will help to expedite the housing we need for our most vulnerable population and house L.A. This partnership will make available the necessary money to get these units built.”

These early commitments will leverage another $45 million in loans for the early costs of developing 1,000 new units.  Loans will be managed by CSH. Also known as the Corporation for Supportive Housing, CSH is a highly-rated, nonprofit community development financial institution advancing solutions to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people, maximize public resources and build healthy communities. CSH has worked with all three foundations investing in this partnership and has been located in Los Angeles since 2003. Since 2008, CSH’s Supportive Housing Loan Fund has provided acquisition and predevelopment financing for more than 1,600 permanent supportive housing units. Across the country, CSH has loaned or granted more than $500 million to create supportive housing.

A group of experienced nonprofit housing developers has been involved in developing the accelerated housing plan, identifying ways to streamline the system and kick-start production: A Community of Friends, Los Angeles Family Housing, Mercy Housing California, PATH Ventures, Skid Row Housing Trust and SRO Housing Corporation. These and others may apply through CSH for a loan.

In addition to loans, the foundations are planning to make grants to help build the infrastructure needed to meet the ambitious goal of tripling the number of PSH units annually.

These foundations have a long history of leveraging opportunities for acceleration through coordinated funding across Los Angeles County, including working to address homelessness. As members of the Home for Good Funders Collaborative – organized by the United Way of Greater Los Angeles and L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce – foundations and the public sector have jointly aligned more than $650 million over the last four years to address homelessness in Los Angeles County.

The California Community Foundation is committed to improving the quality of life for all Los Angeles County residents by addressing the root causes of the county’s most urgent problems. The foundation has served as a public, charitable organization since 1915. For more information, please visit calfund.org.

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation is a family foundation established in 1944 by the man who started Hilton Hotels. We provide funds to nonprofit organizations working to improve the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people throughout the world. For more information, please visit hiltonfoundation.org.

Weingart Foundation’s mission is to build a better Southern California by supporting nonprofit organizations to more effectively serve the underserved. For more information, please visit weingartfnd.org.


Affirmed Housing & PATH Ventures recently celebrated the opening of Vermont Villas, providing 79 homeless and at-risk Veterans and Senior Citizens the stable hobuscaino-villas-e1445031273591_comptonheraldusing and support services they need thrive. Supportive housing is a critical tool in ending homelessness especially among our Veterans and those with critical health needs. CSH provided a $1.8 million loan to fund predevelopment activities and land acquisition costs related to the construction the project which is located in the Gardena section of Los Angeles.

In addition to CSH’s loan, Vermont Villas received funding from Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department, the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco and
9% Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits.
(photo courtesy of the 15th Council District)

Photo Slideshow

Press Coverage

Speak Up Advocates on Capitol Hill

CSH Speak Up Advocates participated in the annual “Hill Day” in Washington, D.C., meeting with Members of Congress and their staff in their Capitol Hill offices. The Advocates shared their personal stories of homelessness, how supportive housing transformed their lives, and why it is critical for our elected leaders to back programs creating affordable housing with access to community-based services.

Advocates met with US Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40th), Judy Chu (CA-27), Adam Schiff (CA-28), and with Senator Diane Feinstein’s (CA) staff; all pictured below.








Hear from our advocates Dorothy, Vikki, Zondre and Sofya about their experiences in Washington D.C.


Understanding Housing & Medicaid Health Homes Care Coordination – New York Hosts Health Homes Peer Roundtable with Los Angeles

HH Picture edit

On June 3, CSH convened a New York City / Los Angeles Medicaid Health Homes knowledge exchange Roundtable with representatives from NYC Health Homes, care management entities and supportive housing providers at the New York State Health Foundation.  In as early as January 2016, California plans to phase-in its statewide implementation of Medicaid Health Homes.

A state option under the Affordable Care Act, Health Homes serve as a care management entity bringing together medical and behavioral health and social service providers to coordinate the care of Medicaid’s most complex and high-cost members. New York State was one of the first states to implement Health Homes in 2012. Similar to New York, California’s Health Homes will be required to integrate supportive housing in their care multi-disciplinary care teams.

Representatives at the roundtable, including those from lead Health Homes and managed care, discussed Health Home infrastructure and core functions of Health Home care coordinators and the various ways they work with housing providers. Representatives also shared with California the challenges faced with implementation of Health Homes, identifying and placing high-need, frequent users of multiple systems in housing as well as emerging best practices for housing and Health Home care coordination.

Through a generous grant from the NYS Health Foundation, in 2013 CSH convened a 7-part statewide series of trainings in collaboration with key New York State government agencies to provide education and resources to help build the capacity of Health Homes and their network of providers to better serve homeless and unstably housed clients who are high utilizers of crisis care.

California will begin its phased-in implementation of its Health Homes for Patients with Complex Needs, or Health Home Program (HHP).  HHP will place an emphasis on Medicaid members with high-costs, high-risks, and high utilization who can benefit from increased care coordination of physical health, behavioral health, community-based LTSS, palliative care, and social supports, resulting in reduced hospitalizations and emergency department visits, improved HHP beneficiary engagement and decreased costs. Similar to NY, CA recognizes that homelessness will serve as a barrier to comprehensive care management; the State will require the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) to create a health home program for homeless enrollees with chronic conditions.

OSF Grants $150,000 to CSH for FUSE Replication

OSFThe Open Society Foundations (OSF) U.S. Programs initiative supports efforts to advance equality, fairness, and justice with a focus on the most vulnerable and marginalized communities and the most significant threats to open society in the United States today. OSF works to further a vibrant democratic society in which all people can meaningfully participate in its civic, economic, and political life and to ensure that the core institutions of civil society are effective and accountable to the public.

Areas of particular emphasis in U.S. Programs’ grant-making and other activities include:

  • The advancement of effective and fair criminal justice and drug policies,
  • Support of the rights of racial minorities and other vulnerable groups;
  • Support of institutions and practices that advance a more informed and engaged public and responsive and effective government.

OSF’s recent contribution of $150,000 to CSH to promote a scaled replication and the sustainability of the FUSE (Frequent Users/Utilizers Systems Engagement) model will help ensure that more people leaving our jails and prisons will have a real chance to become a part of the communities in which they live. Because of the generosity of OSF and others, CSH is able to recreate FUSE in more communities across the country.

FUSE is a CSH signature accomplishment that helps communities identify and engage high utilizers of public systems and place them into supportive housing in order to break the cycle of repeated use of costly crisis services, shelters, and the criminal justice system. In the FUSE model, supportive housing serves to smooth the transition from institution to community, promoting a transformation that serves those released from jails and prisons, and the general population, by improving lives and public safety.

The critical support of OSF and our partners will allow CSH to aggressively pursue our vision to create additional policy and resource tools, such as FUSE, that encourage cross-system collaboration and allow innovative responses to complex social problems.


Speak Up Advocates to Present at Alliance Conference

CSH Speak Up Advocates are set to present at the upcoming National Conference on Ending Homelessness, including CSH Board Member and Advocate Dorothy Edwards.  Advocates will present in the Microsession  Including the Consumer Voice in Planning and Administration(SA) – details are below.

685-SpeakUpLogoOur tenant advocates will also participate in the Hill Day activities, speaking with their Congressional Representatives and Senators on the need for supportive housing. Follow their experience online through  #CSHSpeakUp.

National Conference on Ending Homelessness

July 16  2:45pm
M1.10 Including the Consumer Voice in Planning and Administration(SA)
Services should be responsive to the needs and wants of those who are meant to receive them. In this workshop, speakers will discuss the value of including the consumer voice on the boards of Continuums of Care and permanent supportive housing programs, and other programs and organizations that provide homeless services. Topics will include recruiting consumers for planning, and the insights of consumers who have drawn on their experiences in the homeless system to inform their work on these boards.

CMS Issues Bulletin on Using Medicaid for Supportive Services

CMSThe Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) has released an Informational Bulletin intended to assist states in designing Medicaid benefits, and to clarify the circumstances under which Medicaid reimburses for certain housing-related activities, with the goal of promoting community integration for individuals with disabilities, older adults needing long term services and supports (LTSS), and those experiencing chronic homelessness. Consistent with statute, CMS/CMCS can assist states with coverage of certain housing-related activities and services.

Read the full CMS/CMCS Informational Bulletin here.

For more information on how states are currently using Medicaid in supportive housing, see CSH’s four new resources, released earlier this month.

Read our joint statement with the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the Technical Assistance Collaborative and the National Health Care for the Homeless Council.

OrgCode, Community Solutions & CSH Launch Next Step Tool for Youth

The Next Step Tool for Homeless Youth

The Next Step Tool for Homeless Youth, or Next Step Tool, integrates the TAY Triage Tool, developed by the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) through research by Eric Rice, PhD, Associate Professor at University of Southern California, with the VI-SPDAT, created by Community Solutions and OrgCode Consulting, Inc.

The TAY Triage Tool predicts which youth are most likely to experience long-term homelessness, essentially on a trajectory to becoming chronically homeless adults. The VI-SPDAT helps understand current vulnerabilities and risks to future housing stability, in order to support youth in ending their homelessness.

The Next Step Tool carefully merges all of these tested ideas together. Through a closed-ended survey where youth provide a yes, no or one-word answer, service providers have a better understanding of the intensity of supports to begin with when supporting the youth.  You can download the Next Step Tool at http://www.orgcode.com/product/vi-spdat/


The Youth SPDAT

To complement the launch of the Next Step Tool, OrgCode has also created a modified version of the Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (SPDAT) for use specifically with youth. The Youth SPDAT was developed based on feedback from many communities using the SPDAT who identified the need for a complete assessment tool that emphasized the unique issues faced by homeless youth.

You can download the Youth SPDAT at http://www.orgcode.com/product/spdat/


CSH Transition Age Youth (TAY) Triage Tool

The CSH Transition Age Youth (TAY) Triage Tool – A Tool to Identify Homeless Transition Age Youth Most in Need of Supportive Housing – can be accessed directly here.


Harvard Releases State of the Nation’s Housing 2015

The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University has released The State of the Nation’s Housing 2015 and this is what it says about our PROGRESS IN REDUCING HOMELESSNESS and the role supportive housing is playing, effectively getting people off our streets and keeping them housed:

“The lack of affordable housing in the United States continues to leave nearly 600,000 people homeless. More than a third are people in families, including 130,000 children under the age of 18. By comparison, chronically homeless individuals (those who have been without a place to live for at least a year or have had repeated episodes of homelessness over the past few years) account for a much smaller share (15 percent) of the homeless population. Recent increases in federal funding have aided progress in reducing both homelessness overall and among the most vulnerable groups. Indeed, the number of beds in permanent supportive housing expanded 60 percent between 2007 and 2014, to over 300,000. Beds for the chronically homeless accounted for just over half of this increase. As a result, total homelessness fell 11 percent in 2007–14, the number of homeless veterans dropped 19 percent, and the number of chronically homeless individuals was down by 30 percent. At the same time, however, the number of homeless people in families declined by only 8 percent.

But the national reduction in homelessness is not apparent in all markets. Rising rents and a dwindling supply of affordable rentals continue to put people at risk, especially in high-cost locations. Indeed, total homelessness jumped by 29 percent in New York and 40 percent in Massachusetts between 2007 and 2014. The increase in the District of Columbia was even larger, at 46 percent. Family homelessness is particularly acute in major cities, which were home to 45 percent of this population in 2014. New York City headed the list with 41,600 homeless people in families, or nearly 20 percent of the national total.”


New Markets Tax Credits Allocated to CSH

CSH Awarded $40 Million New Markets Tax Credits

Today, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund announced it has awarded $40 million in New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) to CSH as part of the 2014 round.

“The Department of Treasury has given us the tools to leverage even more resources to spur the creation of supportive housing,” said CSH President and CEO Deborah De Santis. “Not only will we be able to create the dynamic to house vulnerable people facing instability, this award will help us fulfill our goal of bringing healthcare services to hundreds more who need to access it.”

De Santis explained NMTC allocations can be used to develop facilities such as health care centers, which complement the medical and mental health services often made available to residents of supportive housing.

Thus far, CSH has used NMTC investments to leverage and add to other resources, which in turn have created about 200 units of supportive housing across the country, and enabled 15,000 healthcare visits for those facing homelessness and other forms of housing instability. In addition, CSH investments have generated approximately 800 high-quality permanent and construction jobs in communities.

To learn more about our use of NMTC to promote supportive housing, please see profiles of the Bell Building in Detroit, MI and Paseo Verde in Philadelphia, PA.

With the new award, CSH will address a number of supportive housing projects currently in the pipeline for development and estimates adding another 150 – 200 units of affordable housing, including supportive housing, and an additional 100,000 – 125,000 healthcare visits for those facing homelessness and housing instability.

“The investments made possible by today’s awards will have significant impact nationwide,” said Annie Donovan, Director of the CDFI Fund.

To learn more about CSH’s New Markets Tax Credit strategy visit our lending page or contact our Community Investment Team.

“CSH gets it when it comes to supportive housing and they are willing to work in partnership with developers to tailor their support and products to get the deal done.” Joe Heaphy, NSO (Bell Building) Vice-President of Real Estate Development and Management