Housing the Homeless: L.A.’s Historic King Edward Hotel to Rise Again

PRESS CONF. TODAY, Monday, April 30th 10:30 AM

‘Healthy Housing Foundation by AHF’ to announce purchase of 150-room 1906 SRO hotel on edge of L.A.’s Skid Row for use as transitional and longer-term housing for the homeless.

Housing advocates at the press conference will urge L.A. City and County officials to adopt its innovative, far more economic SRO model, as the first homeless housing units funded by Measure HHH will not be available for occupancy until 2019.

King Edward Hotel is third property in last six months acquired by the organization for use as transitional and longer-term housing for the homeless. Other sites include the nearby 220-room Madison Hotel on 7th St. and the 27-room former Sunset 8 Motel in Hollywood.

LOS ANGELES--()--‘Healthy Housing Foundation by AHF’:

“The King Edward Hotel, built in 1906, was designed and developed by prominent Los Angeles architect John Parkinson (whose work includes City Hall and Union Station).”

WHAT:      

HOMELESS HOUSING PRESS CONFERENCE—Advocates to announce purchase of Downtown L.A.’s KING EDWARD HOTEL1, for use as transitional housing for homeless and low-income individuals.

 
WHEN: Monday, April 30th, 2018

10:30 am PRESS CONFERENCE & REMARKS

10:00 am to 12:00 pm Community Partner reception/gathering

 
WHERE:

King Edward Hotel 121 East 5th Street (at Los Angeles St.), L.A., CA 90013

WHO:

Michael Weinstein - President, AHF

Samantha Granberry - Executive Director of the Healthy Housing Foundation and Vice President, AHF Sales & Strategic Partnerships

Mark Casanova - Executive Director of Homeless Health Care Los Angeles

Michael A. Lawson - President & CEO of Los Angeles Urban League

Stacy Hill-Williams - Communication & Development Director of Brotherhood Crusade

Arely Vasquez - Program Manager - CHIRP Los Angeles

Winter Speyer - National Housing Director of the Healthy Housing Foundation & former Program Manager of CHIRP Los Angeles

Reverend Kelvin Sauls - Senior Pastor, Holman United Methodist Church

Robert Davenport – King Edward Hotel Tenant & Horn Player

 
B-ROLL: Tours of the King Edward Hotel and viewing of a sample hotel room

On Monday, April 30th, advocates and officials with ‘Healthy Housing Foundation by AHF,’ a program spearheaded by AHF to address the housing crisis by providing faster access to transitional and longer-term housing with a focus on addressing the needs of low-income individuals and those unsheltered or homeless, will host a gathering of community partners and a PRESS CONFERENCE to announce the purchase of the historic King Edward Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles (121 E. 5th Street, L.A., CA 90013) for use as transitional housing for the homeless and low-income individuals, with priority placement offered to those with chronic health conditions.

The launch of the ‘Healthy Housing Foundation by AHF’ is part of a community-based effort to address the exploding housing and homelessness crisis in Los Angeles. The 150-room King Edward Hotel is the third property in the last six months acquired by the ‘Healthy Housing Foundation by AHF’ for use as homeless and transitional housing. Other Healthy Housing Foundation properties include the nearby 220-room Madison Hotel2 on 7th St. and the former Sunset 8 Motel3, a 27-room motel in the heart of Hollywood that has been renamed ‘Sunrise on Sunset’ and that will accommodate homeless, or those likely to become homeless, parents and their children.

Group to Challenge Los Angeles City & County Officials to Explore SRO Model for Homeless

During the Monday press conference, housing advocates from the Healthy Housing Foundation and AHF will challenge officials from both the City and County of Los Angeles to explore adopting the SRO hotel model for homeless and transitional housing that it has been successfully deploying since October 2017 with the purchase of the Madison Hotel. Combined—the three properties the non-profit organization purchased and redeployed for homeless housing have nearly 400 rooms (397). The Healthy Housing Foundation expects that after modest renovations to rooms at the King Edward (and some remaining rooms at the Madison) to have all rooms occupied by mid-summer 2018.

Meanwhile, Measure HHH, the well-intentioned Los Angeles City ballot measure authorizing $1.2 billion in bonds to pay for the construction of 10,000 units of housing for homeless people and that passed with 76% of the vote in November 2016 has yet to house a single homeless individual.

And the homeless will likely not find any Measure HHH housing available for occupancy in Los Angeles until the fall or winter of 2019, when construction of the first projects—which city officials have estimated at a cost of $434,0004 per unit—is completed.

By comparison, the Healthy Housing Foundation’s costs-per-unit for purchase and modest improvements and repairs of existing single room occupancy (SRO) hotels and motels are far less: $36,000 per room for the Madison, $170,000 per room or unit for the Sunset 8 and approximately $70,000 per room for the newly purchased King Edward Hotel.

“As the homeless crisis in Los Angeles continues to grow to an almost unfathomable scale, we found and are pursuing an innovative, far less costly way to provide a roof over one’s head for many previously homeless or at-risk individuals through the purchase and redeployment of single-room-occupancy hotels like the historic King Edward Hotel,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AHF. “There are several of these formerly grand old hotels in the downtown area that are un- or under-occupied and that could likely be successfully converted to housing more quickly and for far less money than the cost to build new housing for the homeless through Measure HHH’s current guidelines. We urge Los Angeles officials to explore and consider our SRO model and adopt it as another means to address homelessness in L.A.”

As of the last homeless count in 2017, there were 34,000 homeless individuals in the City of Los Angeles and a total of nearly 58,000 homeless Countywide.

Snapshot of The Housing Crisis: Los Angeles

  • The 2017 homeless count in Los Angeles County was nearly 58,000 (57,794), a 23% INCREASE from 2016
  • The sharp rise, to nearly 58,000, suggested that the pathway into homelessness continues to outpace intensifying efforts that — through rent subsidies, new construction, outreach and support services — got more than 14,000 people permanently off the streets last year. (Los Angeles Times, 5/31/17 by Doug Smith & Gale Holland)
  • Homelessness also increased sharply in the City of Los Angeles in 2017, where the count of just over 34,000 was UP 20% from 2016. (L.A. Times 5/31/17)

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 889,000 individuals in 39 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us @aidshealthcare.

1 According to Los Angeles Downtown News, “The King Edward Hotel, built in 1906, was designed and developed by prominent Los Angeles architect John Parkinson (whose work includes City Hall and Union Station).” It was a tony destination for visitors to what was once a thriving commercial district.
2 The purchase price for the Madison Hotel was $7,575,000, (the parking lot was $450K – total $8,025,000.00 less a repair credit of $25K and a donation of $50K to AHF – net price $7,950,000) or approximately $36K per room or unit.
3 The purchase price for the 27-room Sunset 8 Motel was $4.6 million, or $170,370 per room or unit.
4 Cost per unit that the City of Los Angeles plans to spend on homeless housing. Source: Prop. HHH Developments Financial Report and L.A. Housing & Community Investment Dept.

Contacts

AHF
Ged Kenslea, Senior Director, Communications
+1-323-308-1833 work
+1-323-791-5526 cell
gedk@aidshealth.org
or
Coalition to Preserve LA
Ileana Wachtel, Communications Director
+1-310-702-4240
wachtelileana@gmail.com

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Housing the Homeless: L.A.’s Historic King Edward Hotel to Rise Again; PRESS CONF. TODAY, Monday, April 30th 10:30 AM