Kresge Commits $7 Million to Help End Homelessness in Los Angeles

The Kresge Foundation has announced a $7 million investment in support of efforts to help house the homeless in Los Angeles.

As part of the Accelerating Permanent Supportive Housing Initiative, Kresge will join with the California Community, Weingart, and Conrad N. Hilton foundations, the City of Los Angeles, and other partners in committing $63 million to a revolving fund that supports the creation of a thousand affordable housing units a year. And with the goal of tripling the number of units created, the initiative will ask nonprofit developers in the region to break ground on ten to fifteen new developments a year. Loans for developers will be managed by the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) through its Supportive Housing Loan Fund.

Kresge's commitment includes a $6 million low-interest loan to the Supportive Housing Loan Fund and a three-year, $1 million grant to the California Community Foundation in support of CCF's efforts to raise additional resources from donor-advised funds. "Making low-interest loans from DAFs is an approved use of those funds, but today the vast majority of DAFs are used as grant capital," said Kimberlee Cornett, managing director of Kresge's Social Investment Practice. "We know donors want to do the most good with their money, and their dollars can potentially go further and be more impactful in the form of low-interest loans. We're excited to work with CCF to help bring that opportunity to its donors and to direct more money into efforts to end homelessness in Los Angeles."

In support of the effort, a group of nonprofit housing developers has been tasked with identifying ways to streamline the system and accelerate production of affordable housing units. The group includes A Community of Friends, Clifford Beers Housing, LINC Housing, Los Angeles Family Housing, Mercy Housing California, New Directions for Veterans, PATH Ventures, the Skid Row Housing Trust, and SRO Housing Corporation. Housing developers may apply through CSH for loan funds and through United Way's Home for Good Collaborative for grant support to cover preliminary costs such as buying sites, developing plans, and securing city approvals. In November, Los Angeles voters will decided whether to approve a $1.2 billion bond measure — Proposition HHH — to finance new apartments for the homeless.

"This initiative demonstrates the power in coordinating a multi-stakeholder response around an innovative model that improves outcomes and reduces costs," said David Fukuzawa, managing director of Kresge's Health and Human Services programs. "By blending the work of health and human services, permanent supportive housing provides services while also working to address the systematic challenges that lead to homelessness. We hope that other cities experiencing similar pressures will be able to learn from this collaborative."