With its purchase of the 204-room 1910 era Baltimore Hotel on edge of Skid Row in Downtown L.A., Healthy Housing Foundation by AHF has now created or repurposed nearly 600 single room occupancy (SRO) hotel rooms or other housing units for use as homeless and low-income housing.
On Friday, August 24th, advocates and officials with Healthy Housing Foundation by AHF announced the purchase of the historic Hotel Baltimore in Downtown Los Angeles (501 S. Los Angeles Street LA, CA 90013) for use as housing for the homeless and extremely low-income individuals.
Healthy Housing Foundation is a program spearheaded by AHF to address the housing and homelessness crisis by providing faster access to housing with a focus on addressing the needs of extremely low-income individuals and those unsheltered or homeless with priority placement also offered to those with chronic health conditions. The 204-room Hotel Baltimore was built in 1910 and is now the fourth property acquired by the Healthy Housing Foundation since October 2017 for use as homeless and low-income housing. The Baltimore currently has 76 tenants in residence, who will remain in place.
Other Healthy Housing Foundation properties include the 150-room King Edward Hotel directly across the street from the Baltimore; the nearby 202-room Madison Hotel on 7th St. and the former Sunset 8 Motel, a 27-room, 1940s era roadside motel in the heart of Hollywood that has been renamed “Sunrise on Sunset.” The Hollywood property has been repurposed to specifically accommodate homeless parents and their children, while the three other facilities, as former hotels and SROs, are targeted individual adults. Combined, the four properties the non-profit organizations purchased and redeployed for homeless housing have nearly 600 rooms.
Advocates again urge Los Angeles officials to adopt SRO model for homeless
During the press conference held on August 24, housing advocates from the Healthy Housing Foundation and AHF will again urge officials from both the City and County of Los Angeles to adopt the SRO hotel model as an existing—and cost-effective—approach to addressing homeless housing that AHF and Healthy Housing have been successfully deploying since October 2017 with their initial purchase of the Madison Hotel.
By comparison, Measure HHH, the well-intentioned Los Angeles City bond 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 percent of the vote in November 2016 has yet to house a single homeless individual.
And the homeless—as well as voters who supported Measure HHH—will unfortunately not find any relief from the bond measure anytime soon: the first housing available for occupancy in Los Angeles under HHH will not come online until the fall or winter of 2019, when construction of the first projects—which city officials have estimated at a cost of $434,000 per unit—is completed.
By comparison, 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: $70,000 per room at the King Edward; $36,000 per room for the Madison; $170,000 per room or unit for the former Sunset 8; and approximately $82,000 per room for the newly purchased Baltimore Hotel.
“Beyond talk, the Healthy Housing Foundation is focused on the actions of producing and preserving affordable housing for the citizens of Los Angeles in a revolutionary way that is long overdue,” said Samantha Granberry, executive director of the Healthy Housing Foundation and vice president, AHF Sales & Strategic Partnerships. “If we can do it, others in positions of ability should follow suit. Working together, this crisis is solvable.”
“There are several of these formerly grand old hotels in the downtown area that are un- or under-occupied and that could be successfully converted to housing stock far more quickly and for far less money that the cost to build new housing for the homeless through Measure HHH’s current guidelines,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AHF. “We have estimates of as many as 5,000 empty SRO hotel rooms in Los Angeles. We challenge Los Angeles officials to fully consider the SRO model we are deploying and adopt it as another means to address L.A.’s homeless crisis in a more timely, efficient and compassionate manner.”
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 968,000 individuals in 41 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, visit www.aidshealth.org.
 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.
Source: Healthy Housing Foundation by AHF