Nonprofit to build first supportive housing project in Westchester

New law removing redlining and density restrictions spur 102-unit Red Tail Crossing

Community Corporation of Santa Monica's Tara Barauskas with 8333 Airport Boulevard (Community Corporation of Santa Monica, KFA Architecture)
Community Corporation of Santa Monica's Tara Barauskas with 8333 Airport Boulevard (Community Corporation of Santa Monica, KFA Architecture)

A racially motivated covenant from the 1940s once barred apartments to be built near LAX. Now a new state law will allow the development of more than 100 affordable units.

The nonprofit Community Corporation of Santa Monica has broken ground on a four-story permanent supportive housing complex at 8333 Airport Boulevard in Westchester, the Torrance Daily Breeze reported. It’s built on the former site of a church.

The project, known as Red Tail Crossing, was made possible by Assembly Bill 721, which stripped vestiges of redlining by preventing covenant density restrictions from blocking affordable housing projects. The bill became law last year.

It’s the first time AB 721 has applied to a housing project. The 2-acre, triangular lot lies just south of La Tijera Boulevard and a couple of blocks north of the airport.

“Affordable housing is, by its nature, going to include people of color,” former Assemblyman Richard Bloom, author of the bill, told the Daily News at a groundbreaking event. “And the real reason for these covenants was to keep people of color out of the neighborhood.”

Plans call for 102 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments above an underground parking garage for 78 cars, Urbanize Los Angeles reported. Forty of the apartments will be set aside for formerly homeless residents and 52 units for qualified families. It’s not clear who will live in the remaining units.

Redtail Crossing will serve households earning between 15 percent and 70 percent of the area median income, with monthly rents from $332 to $2,151 per month.

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The complex will include a playground, community room and kitchen, gym, wellness studio, on-site laundry, outdoor picnic area and community garden. The gray complex with forest green and sage trim, designed by KFA Architecture of Culver City, is shaped like an E and includes two courtyards and a rear yard.

The apartments are expected to be completed in 2024, with qualifying tenants selected through a lottery.

The more than $60 million Red Tail Crossing project was funded by private and public sources. Century Housing provided the initial $9 million to buy the land. In March, the state awarded $17.9 million through the California Housing Accelerator.

The city of Los Angeles and Chase Bank National Equity Fund also made undisclosed but “significant” contributions.

While Community Corporation has built affordable housing in Santa Monica, its portfolio includes Vista Ballona, a 50-unit affordable housing complex in Mar Vista, as well as a 78-unit complex planned for Sepulveda Boulevard in Culver City, according to Urbanize.

— Dana Bartholomew

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