Firmin Court in Historic Filipinotown provides new homes for more than 60 chronically homeless, homeless, and low-income households. Photos: Juan Tallo. Click here for additional high-resolution images.
WHAT: New homes for more than 60 chronically homeless, homeless, and low-income households at Firmin Court in Historic Filipinotown.
WHEN: Thursday, March 9, 2023, 9-11 AM
WHO: Remarks by:
Eunisses Hernandez, LA City Councilmember (Council District 1)
LaTonya Smith, Interim President, St. Joseph Center (supportive services provider)
Jerry Arrington and Leroy Lane, Firmin Court residents
Gloria Perlas Pulido, External Affairs, Southern California Office of California State Treasurer Fiona Ma
Ted M. Handel, CEO, Decro Corporation (co-developer with Innovative Housing Opportunities)
Jose Gardea, former Councilmember Ed Reyes’ Chief of Staff (event emcee
WHY: To celebrate and acknowledge the creativity, resources, and commitment required to bring housing and supportive services to those in need, immediately after the pandemic, and help make a dent in the region’s severe housing shortage, particularly in a neighborhood undergoing rapid expansion into market-rate developments.
DETAILS: Firmin Court was among the first affordable housing projects financed by the City of Los Angeles’ Proposition HHH, and has been helped by LA Mayor Karen Bass’ directive to expedite affordable housing developments as part of her plan to solve the housing crisis. The seven-story, newly built community consists of 63 affordable housing units, plus a property manager’s apartment, for a total of 64 residential units. Configurations include studios and one-, two-, and three-bedroom units—45 of which are designated as permanent supportive housing units. On-site social services provided by Venice, CA-based St. Joseph Center include behavioral health and primary health counseling, independent living skills, and employment/educational assistance. Firmin Court amenities include a Sky Deck overlooking downtown LA, a community room with a fully equipped kitchen, a learning center for after-school programs, and outdoor landscaped areas for the benefit of residents. The building’s Spanish Colonial vernacular features white stucco walls, barrel tile roofs, decorative wrought-iron railings, decorative trim at window and door openings, and colorful ceramic tile accents. Sustainable elements include solar hot-water heating, energy- and water-efficient appliances and plumbing fixtures, drought-tolerant landscape, and the use of low-VOC paints and materials for a healthy indoor environment. Project development required abandoning a more than 100-year-old oil well and relocating and rehabilitating a historic home built around 1895.
“Firmin Court demonstrates Decro Corporation’s commitment to create affordable housing projects that bring respect and dignity to its residents and offer them an environment where the community encourages and supports their success,” says Ted M. Handel, CEO of Decro Corporation, the lead developer.
“Innovative Housing Opportunities is honored to have been invited to partner with Decro Corporation on the development of Firmin Court,” says Rochelle Mills, President/CEO of Innovative Housing Opportunities, co-developer. “Firmin Court is the type of affordable housing Los Angeles needs right now, from its thoughtful design to the amenities and services offered to its residents and neighbors that will equip them to thrive.”
Funding sources for Firmin Court:
CIT Bank, a division of First Citizens Bank (construction and permanent lender)
City of Los Angeles (Proposition HHH)
California Department of Housing & Community Development (Supportive Housing Multifamily Housing Program)
Enterprise Community Housing Investments (Wincopin Circle LLLP as low-income housing tax credit investor)
Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles provided 45 project-based vouchers for the permanent supportive housing units.
Firmin Court team:
Developers: Decro Corporation; Innovative Housing Opportunities (IHO)
Social Service Provider: St. Joseph Center
Construction Manager: Castle & Gray International
General Contractor: Walton Construction
Architect: DAHLIN Group
Interior Designer: Masbuild
Landscape Architect: Fong Hart Schneider + Partners
Civil/Structural Engineer: KPFF Consulting Engineers
MEP Engineer: Breen Design Group
Dry Utilities: Murow Development Consultants
Energy, LEED, & Building Envelope: Redwood Energy
Certified Access Specialist (CASp): Tim McCormick & Associates
ABOUT DECRO CORPORATION
Decro Corporation—a nearly 35-year-old nonprofit affordable housing organization—develops, constructs, and maintains affordable housing, mixed-use developments, and service-enriched communities for low- and very low-income, at-risk, and special needs individuals, families, and seniors. Decro’s mission is to revitalize disadvantaged neighborhoods by using innovative financing structures and technologies to promote individual growth, family sustainability, and community enrichment.
ABOUT INNOVATIVE HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES
The mission of Innovative Housing Opportunities (IHO) is to enrich communities by providing high-quality affordable housing, where residents can thrive, develop healthy habits, and achieve success and stability. IHO’s California development portfolio provides housing to a wide variety of residents, including seniors, families, foster youth, veterans, those living with mental illness, formerly homeless, developmentally disabled, and other special needs and mixed populations. Formed in 1976 to help business and government address the lack of low- to moderate-income housing in the City of Irvine, IHO is now working throughout California in strategic partnerships that creatively and effectively maximize efficiencies while achieving the most attractive and well-managed environments for residents and for the surrounding communities.