OUR HISTORY

HARPER AVENUE

HARPER AVENUE

ORIGINS

The history of West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation (WHCHC) is closely tied to the history of the City of West Hollywood itself. In the early 1980s, the area that is now West Hollywood was part of unincorporated Los Angeles County. A coalition of senior and LGBT residents, concerned by rapid development, anxious about the imminent expiration of Los Angeles County’s rent control law and troubled by the possibility of annexation to the City of Los Angeles, spearheaded a movement to independent cityhood. In 1984, City of West Hollywood was incorporated.

The newly elected West Hollywood City Council formed a task force of seven graduate students from the UCLA Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Planning to develop a blueprint housing policy for the new city. This taskforce’s recommendations included adopting an inclusionary housing ordinance and creating a community housing development organization. And so WHCHC was formed.  

RAMPART MINT

RAMPART MINT

AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

Starting with the rehabilitation of existing structures and later expanding to new construction, WHCHC has developed more than 20 affordable rental apartment communities. These apartment communities provide high-quality and amenity-rich living environments to over 1,000 residents, the majority live below the federal poverty line.

WHCHC specializes in high-density, urban infill development, with properties designed to fit seamlessly within existing neighborhoods and the community at-large. Vacant land has always been difficult to purchase in the small City of West Hollywood. The first two WHCHC projects were older buildings that the Corporation purchased and rehabilitated, guaranteeing permanent affordability for low-income households. The next developments in the early 1990s involved purchasing lots with smaller bungalows and rehabilitating those older structures while adding newly constructed units at the rear of the sites. Entirely new construction projects followed, increasing the overall housing stock and number of affordable units available in Southern California.

Based on the demographics of West Hollywood, creating housing for seniors and people with special needs were the original focus of the Corporation. WHCHC built some of the first housing on the West Coast to serve individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Gradually the Corporation expanded the populations it served. WHCHC realized some of its residents were struggling to live independently. The Resident Services Department was established to identify residents’ needs and facilitate connections to outside social services support. WHCHC learned that affordable housing alone is not enough. Supportive services are critical to keeping vulnerable residents housed stably and successfully.

Abbe Land
WHCHC consistently builds beautiful projects which most people never guess are affordable housing. They provide a myriad of supportive services specifically designed to meet the needs of their residents. WHCHC’s compassion and expertise keeps their residents housed and thriving.

Abbe Land, former West Hollywood City Councilmember