LONG BEACH, Calif. — An affordable housing high-rise is potentially coming to Long Beach.
North Hollywood-based nonprofit affordable housing developer Holos Communities will host a meeting Thursday night for the community to check out a proposed 14-story, 103-unit permanent supportive and affordable housing project on Fourth Street and Atlantic Avenue.
The ground-up project, Denali, is one of the city's first high-rise affordable housing projects, said Aaron Perry-Zucker, director of marketing and communications at Holos.
The community meeting will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Covenant Presbyterian Church at 607 East 3rd St. in Long Beach.
"This an area that needs it," said Perry-Zucker to Spectrum News. "There is a need for housing, especially in Long Beach, which showed the number of people experiencing homelessness rose during the pandemic. We need more affordable housing."
Like many cities across Southern California, the affordable housing project comes as Long Beach faces a homeless crisis.
In the 2022 Point in Time homeless count, the city found nearly 3,300 people experiencing homelessness, exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. The city found that the number of people living in tent encampments rose 22%, and those living in vehicles jumped by 380% since 2020.
"The pandemic has made our local and statewide homelessness crisis even more challenging," former Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said when the point-in-time count was released. "There's no bigger issue and we must continue helping as many people as possible and getting them into shelter and housing."
Since then, Long Beach has taken a multi-prong approach to address homelessness in the city. One of those ways is to help fund affordable housing developments.
Perry-Zucker said the city provided Holos a $4 million loan to help develop the project.
According to Reonomy property records, Holos purchased the former shopping center and parking lot on 521 and 530 East Fourth St. from a private seller for $2.6 million in August.
"It's a good location," said Perry-Zucker. "It's transit adjacent, and we already have a significant footprint in the city."
Perry-Zucker said the nonprofit decided to build a high-rise to house more people. The proposed development does not have parking.
"The name of the game is density," he said. "This is an area with a lot of walkable amenities and only a few affordable housing. It's an interesting design challenge."
Perry-Zucker said 75% of the 103 one-bedroom units would be reserved for unhoused or formerly unhoused people, and the rest would be for those who make 50% to 80% of the area's median income.
The proposed high rise would be all electric with extensive solar panels on the exterior. The two buildings will also include an on-site mental and behavioral service, therapy, life-skill classes, a garden, community rooms, and a laundry room.
The project is slated to break ground in 2025, with a target completion in 2027, he said.