Rose Hill Courts
Fact Sheet - Questions & Answers
HACLA and Related California have been working together since 2015 to examine options for the redevelopment of Rose Hill Courts, a 91-unit public housing project in Northeast Los Angeles. The property is in deteriorated condition and some units remain vacant due to termite damage. In September of 2017, HACLA obtained approval from its Board to examine the option of demolishing all of the existing buildings & creating brand new units in their place. HACLA and Related remain committed to upholding residents’ best interests and rights in any future redevelopment of Rose Hill Courts.
HACLA and Related are proposing to demolish the existing 91 units of public housing and replace them with up to 191 units of newly built rental affordable housing. The new units will be built in two phases; Phase I will consist of up to 94 units and is being designed to accommodate all existing residents currently living onsite. Phase II will consist of up to 97 units and will provide new affordable family units.
ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW AND ENTITLEMENTS
Related has begun the planning and conceptual design for the new construction project. After collecting input from residents and local stakeholders, the proposed project description will be finalized and the State and Federal environmental review process will start, known as CEQA and NEPA respectively. This process will begin in early 2018 and is expected to take up to a year to complete. During this time, residents and local stakeholders will receive periodic updates and be given many opportunities to provide comments and input on the project at public meetings. After environmental review is complete, the project needs to apply for and receive entitlements from the City.
The development team and HACLA intend to keep all units in the new development affordable and will need to secure multiple sources of funding to support the cost of each phase. These sources can include tax credits, conventional debt, and competitive grants. Typically, this funding is secured after the project is fully designed and entitled and is considered the final step before construction can start.
Construction is currently expected to happen in two phases. Phase I will provide all the units necessary to house existing households at Rose Hills and will only require partial demolition of buildings on site. Demolition and construction will take approximately 18 months and is expected to begin in 2020. The development team will secure similar sources of financing for Phase II, since it is also expected to be an affordable housing project and Phase II construction will not start until all households have been offered housing in Phase I.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
I thought Rose Hill Courts was going to be rehabilitated? Why the switch to new construction?
HACLA and Related conducted research and analysis during 2016 and 2017 to examine the rehabilitation approach and found that this approach would not allow a good portion of our existing families to return to Rose Hill Courts because of restrictive “right sizing” requirements. Our households need more one-bedroom units (at least 25 additional one bedroom units are needed) and these cannot be created through the rehabilitation process. Additionally, almost 50% of our households qualify as senior or disabled and the rehabilitation would not provide for reasonable and compliant handicap access to the units. Lastly, due to the deteriorated condition of the existing buildings the rehabilitation became cost-prohibitive and would not provide the benefits of a new building such as larger units, modern amenities etc.
I thought Rose Hill Courts was historic? How can it be demolished?
Rose Hill Courts has a historic designation due to the age of the buildings and as an example of early public housing. The environmental review process will consider the historic nature of the property and will examine impacts caused by demolition of the buildings and propose potential mitigation measures. HACLA and Related will engage the residents and local stakeholders to obtain their input on how best to document the history of Rose Hill Courts for future generations.
Will residents need to be relocated?
Phase I is targeted for a portion of the site that will impact the least amount of current residents. Based on initial design and current vacancies as of November 2017, it is estimated that up to 15 households might be temporarily relocated while Phase 1 is being built. These relocations may be accommodated on-site depending on availability of existing units, at nearby public housing sites or in the local rental market. These households will also be provided with a choice of a Section 8 voucher if they wish to move away permanently. The current plan assumes the remainder of residents will remain onsite in their units while Phase I is being constructed. Once Phase I is completed, the relocated residents and the residents still residing in the older buildings will have the first right to move into one of the new units.
Before any relocation occurs, HACLA will need to create and adopt a detailed Relocation Plan, with input from residents and updated studies of household needs will be conducted. HUD regulations ensure that residents, subject to relocation, will be provided relocation counseling, compensation for moving expense and provided with decent, safe and sanitary housing choices.
What is the possibility that residents get to come back?
Any resident wishing to return to the development will be able to do so.
I thought the site’s zoning didn’t allow additional units?
As an existing affordable housing project, additional units may be provided on site by using the City’s Density Bonus Ordinance. Application for the planning approvals will occur once the environmental review process is complete.
Will the needs of the senior residents be met? What about amenities for families with children?
With new construction, units will be built to be fully accessible and senior-specific amenities and services will be provided. There will be amenities built as part of Phase I, and the final build out includes a new community building and large outdoor play areas.
Will the residents and neighbors be consulted on the scope and design of the proposed Phase I and II projects?
HACLA and Related want to hear your input. Meetings for Rose Hill Courts residents to provide input and ask questions will continue throughout the process. In addition, meetings with the local community will run in parallel, starting in 2018. Please see the contact information below to sign up for regular project updates.
Will new homes be affordable?
Yes. All of the units planned for Rose Hill Courts will be affordable. Current residents will move into units with similar rent structures as their current public housing. Additional units beyond the 100 replacement units will be available at a range of extremely-low to low-income households and will remain income restricted.