The Veterans Collective Breaks Ground on 87 More New Homes

A hub of housing and community resources underway, including designated spaces for women Veterans

The largest permanent supportive housing development for unsheltered and at-risk Veterans in the United States celebrated a significant milestone May 31 with a groundbreaking for two more buildings slated to provide another 87 apartments on the West Los Angeles VA North Campus.

The Veterans Collective (TVC)—a partnership among Century Housing, U.S.VETS and Thomas Safran & Associates—is the principal developer team responsible for the $1.4 billion project to provide stable, service-enriched homes for vulnerable Veterans in the LA region. TVC is working with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Greater LA and federal, state, and local elected officials and financing agencies to bring to reality a thriving community and accessible network of resources intentionally designed for the health and well-being of residents on the historic West LA VA grounds.

“If we do our jobs right, we are going to make a significant dent in the Veteran homeless population of Los Angeles,” U.S.VETS CEO Steve Peck told a crowd of more than 200 guests gathered at the edge of a construction site to commemorate the project’s progress. Data shows Los Angeles leads the U.S. with more than 3,800 Veterans experiencing homelessness, 11 percent of all homeless Veterans in the country.

More than half of the planned 1,200 homes for Veterans are already finished or under construction on the North Campus, expansive grounds encompassing some 80 acres just west of the 405 freeway. The event marked the new housing coming from Building 158 by Century Housing, including 49 homes, and Building 210, developed by U.S.VETS, to offer 38 homes primarily for women Veterans. The buildings join four other TVC housing projects currently under construction.

Picture of $1.5 million check being presented to VA team at ceremony from U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman“We’re honoring Veterans by making sure each of them has a place to live,” said U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, who announced $1.5 million in federal funding to support Century Housing’s initiative to provide permanent supportive housing. The congressman pledged to work with U.S. housing officials to streamline and simplify Veteran income eligibility for homes. “We’re going to take every step we can or sweep away any obstacle that needs to be swept away.”

“California and Los Angeles have been at the epicenter of homelessness,” added U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff. “This project creates a hub of housing and community resources for our Veterans.”

Secretary Lindsey Sin of the California Dept. of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) said many Veterans face “a cascade of challenges” and championed the arrival of safe, stable supportive housing. “The transformation of the West LA VA campus is a testament to what we can achieve through dedicated collaboration and commitment to addressing the needs of our Veteran community,” she said. “We are committed to ensuring that every Veteran has access to the supportive services and housing they
deserve, and this groundbreaking marks a significant step toward that goal.”

CalVet works closely with the California Dept. of Housing and Community Development (HCD), which has invested $169.4 million in the West LA CA campus, including $61.4 million from the Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention (VHHP) Program. Additionally, $53.3 million is coming from the HCD-administered No Place Like Home Program, $19.2 million from the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program administered in partnership with the state Strategic Growth Council, $15.5 million from the Infill Infrastructure Grant Program, and state budget allocations.

Speakers cited a growing sense of community and anticipation for new amenities from Veterans who have moved into homes on North Campus. Residents access wraparound services, including critical mental health counseling and treatment, case management, career programs and other supportive services and activities in a multigenerational space. Services are available to Veterans and their families who live in nearby communities.

“I’m thankful that I have a place to call my own now,” said Veteran Babs Ludikhuize, 62, who has lived in a studio apartment in Building 207 for older Veterans since the start of the year. “I’ve been homeless. I’m finally able to start bringing my stuff back, things that are important to me, from my children, that were stashed in different places all around Southern California.”

Development has been made possible by enhanced use leases and infrastructure support from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers from LA County Development Authority, capital support from CalVet, bond issuance through California Housing Finance Agency, tax credits and tax-exempt bonds from the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee and California Debt Limit Allocation Committee, and capital support from HCD. Additional funding for the development of the North Campus and Buildings 158 and 210 is made possible by Cedars-Sinai, CREA, USAA, Chase Bank and Citi Bank.

Development is supported by generous contributions to the Veterans Promise Campaign, providing funding to support a public-private partnership with numerous donors, including Tunnel to Towers Foundation, Joe and Farima Czyzyk, City National Bank, Hudson Pacific Properties, Hal and Sharon Lampert, Rodan Family Foundation, St. John’s Health Center Foundation, The Getty Foundation, The Home Depot Foundation, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation, and United Talent Agency, among others.

Once completed, North Campus will create a more inclusive and supportive community offering services for Veterans and families. The property was originally deeded by the Bandini family in 1887 for the establishment of an Old Soldiers Home, the predecessor to the modern-day VA.