Prefab affordable housing rises in Boyle Heights 

Four-story project comes from partnership between three major nonprofits

LAFH's Stephanie Klasky-Gamer with rendering of 3552 Whittier Boulevard
LAFH's Stephanie Klasky-Gamer with rendering of 3552 Whittier Boulevard (LA Family Housing, Abode Communities, Getty)

A new affordable housing project is rising in the Eastside L.A. neighborhood of Boyle Heights — and it’s built with prefab modular units, part of a recent wave of popularity for the more economical method of construction. 

The four-story project is at 3552 Whittier Boulevard, on the site of a former industrial facility near the 5 Freeway, and will feature 63 studio apartments and one manager’s unit, Urbanize LA reported

The project is a partnership inolving three major nonprofit affordable housing players: Mercy Housing of California, a division of the major national builder; Adobe Communities, which has built projects throughout L.A. County; and LA Family Housing, a service agency that helps people move out of homelessness. 

The 63 units are small, averaging just over 300 square feet, and are financed in part with $18.6 million in bonds that were approved by the L.A. City Council last April, according to Urbanize. 

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That funding still leaves millions unpaid for. However, the total cost of the project is estimated at $35.4 million, or more than $550,000 per unit, a hefty tag that’s still cheaper than most affordable housing the city has built in recent years

The project’s use of modular construction is another example of the rising popularity of the material type, for both affordable housing projects and even luxury builds. 

Trevor Bach 

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