SOUTH WHITTIER – Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn announced a plan this week to build affordable student apartments on the county-owned site that was formerly home to the South Whittier Library.
“We are using all of the tools at our disposal to address the homelessness crisis at every level and we will not ignore the staggering number of local college students who are struggling with homelessness,” said Hahn. “This is a promising project that will provide local students with safe places to live and give them the opportunity to focus on their studies and their bright futures.”
The property at 14433 Leffingwell Road is the former site of the South Whittier Library has been vacant since the library moved to a new site in 2016.
At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, the board approved an exclusive negotiating agreement with LINC Housing Corporation, a local nonprofit developer, to work on a plan to build affordable apartments for low-income students at the site.
The units will be dedicated to students at Rio Hondo College.
LINC proposes to develop a new three-story building of approximately 21,000 square feet in size, which includes a total of 27 affordable housing units reserved for low income transition age youth between the ages of 18-25. All units are proposed to be reserved for individuals earning 30 percent or less of area median income.
The proposed development also includes a community room, common outdoor spaces, a computer room, laundry room, offices for supportive services and property management, and 10 vehicle parking spaces.
Additionally, LINC is partnering with Jovenes, a local non-profit organization, specializing in providing crucial supportive services for young adults facing homelessness.
“This project addresses the incredible needs many of our students have,” said Oscar Valladares, vice president of the Rio Hondo College Board of Trustees. “Rio Hondo College welcomes and values the leadership of our county leaders to be bold and serve everyone-- including our community college students.”
The exclusive negotiating agreement will have an initial term of 180 days with options to extend it for an additional 90 days.