News flash! Every week, following the Board meeting, Supervisor Kuehl picks five items you might find interesting, important, and/or fun. It’s your way to get a quick rundown of several highlights of the meeting in no more than 5 minutes! Looking for more? Click here to get the entire agenda.
Funding for Affordable Housing
This week, the Board approved $48.58 million in loans, including $43.58 in state No Place Like Home funds, for four different affordable housing projects across LA County. The rest of the loan funds are comprised of $2 million from the Affordable Housing Trust Funds and $3 million from LA County Development Authority’s bi-annual Notice of Funding Availability.
On July 1st, 2016, Governor Brown signed SB 1206, the No Place Like Home (NPLH) Act of 2018, which dedicated up to $2 billion in bond proceeds to invest in the development of permanent supportive housing. The Department of Mental Health will provide supportive services to the tenants in the NPLH-funded units, monitor the provision of services, and approve eligible tenants. The four projects approved this week will provide a total of 271 units, the majority of which are specifically designated for homeless individuals with serious mental illness, while the rest will go to low-income families and seniors. Of the four projects, two are in the Third District, including 80 units in Canoga Park and 62 units in East Hollywood.
Affordable Multifamily Housing in West Carson
More good news on the affordable housing front! The Board adopted a resolution, approving $45 million in tax-exemption housing revenue bonds to finance the construction and development of West Carson Villas, an affordable 111-unit multifamily housing development in West Carson.
PATH Ventures, the development arm of People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), is a recognized leader in creating high-quality, affordable, and stable homes for people experiencing homelessness. Founded by PATH in 2007, PATH Ventures’ presence is statewide, with over 1,100 affordable homes constructed or in the pipeline.
The gap between needed and existing affordable housing is massive, but through creative collaborations with community-based organizations like PATH, little by little, we are working to close it.
Legal Action to Provide Influenza Vaccines for Migrant Children
Border Detention Centers are at high risk for influenza outbreaks due to overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, poor nutrition, and other factors. Despite this, the federal government has adopted an anti-vaccination policy, refusing to provide influenza vaccines for any immigrants detained at these facilities. Predictably, the results have been tragic, with three children losing their lives to influenza since the December 2018 implementation of this policy.
This week, the Board passed a motion authored by Supervisor Hilda Solis that opens the door for litigation related to U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s anti-influenza vaccination policy. Taking migrant children away from their parents is bad enough, but to deny them basic medical care is unconscionable. The federal government’s influenza vaccine policy is irresponsible and reckless, and leaves immigrants and citizens alike vulnerable to deadly influenza outbreaks.
Virginia Robinson Gardens Roof Refurbishment Project
Built in 1911, Virginia Robinson Gardens was once the residence of retail giants Virginia and Harry Robinson, and the property has the historic significance of being the first luxury estate built in Beverly Hills. Upon Virginia’s death in 1977, the estate was left to the County of Los Angeles, and today it is a part of the Department of Parks and Recreation. The County, along with the Friends of Robinson Gardens, a non-profit organization, maintains the estate.
Much of the unsung work of the County is routine maintenance of historical places like Virginia Robinson Gardens. The Department of Parks and Recreation works hard to ensure historically and culturally relevant sites like trails, gardens, and buildings are well-preserved and will stand the test of time. The Board approved a roof refurbishment project to repair the roof over the pool pavilion at the gardens, so that local and international guests can continue to enjoy this icon of old Hollywood glamour for generations to come.
You can see this jewel of the Third District yourself! Virginia Robinson Gardens is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is open by appointment to the public.
Memorializing Amber Leist
With heavy hearts, the Board adjourned in memory of Detective Amber Joy Leist, an outstanding public servant who was tragically struck by a vehicle last weekend just moments after helping a senior cross the street.
She spent 12 years in the department, first serving in Lancaster and then joining the West Hollywood station as a detective five years ago. She was much loved by the department and known for being the person who could go anywhere, talk to anyone, and, when needed, talk them down.
Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with her family and her colleagues.