Three modular apartment blocks planned for LA’s homeless

A team of US builders and architects has unveiled a prototype modular housing design that it plans to roll out for Los Angeles’ homeless.

The team, made up of prefabricated building firm HBG Construction, designer KTGY Architecture and affordable housing company Aedis Real Estate, intends to build three developments in the city. The projects have been awarded funding from a $1.2bn state grant that aims to build 10,000 units of supportive housing for homeless people.

The grant was made available following the passing of Proposition HHH by city voters in 2016. So far, no housing has resulted from the creation of the fund.

The first of the modular schemes, to be called "Hope on Alvarado", will be located in Los Angeles’ Westlake neighbourhood on 166 South Alvarado Street. It is due to be completed by early 2020 and will contain 84 one-bedroom apartments, each measuring between 37 sq m and 44.5 sq m.

Each resident will have access to social services through Homeless HealthCare Los Angeles, as well as an open-air courtyard and bike storage.

Hope on Alvarado interior (HGB Construction Corp)

Housing modules, floor-to-ceiling windows and interior fittings such as drywall and tiling are installed off-site. Apartments are created from several modules, which are crane-lifted and stacked into a single building.

The steel modules for the project are sourced from China.

The other two projects to receive funding are Hope on Broadway in south Los Angeles, a 49-unit project with a roof deck and a ground-floor podium. Work on this scheme will begin in 2020 and it is due to open in 2021. The third is Hope on Hyde Park, a five-storey, 98-unit development located near Hyde Park and the Crenshaw Line light rail.

Scott Baldridge, Aedis Real Estate Group’s president, said: "This is not just a one-off project. It’s a series of places created with a highly replicable design that delivers housing at a speed and scale required by neighborhoods in need."

Mark Oberholzer, KTGY Architecture’s associate principal, added: "The Hope On team has advanced technology using steel modules that have the potential to radically transform modular housing. The Hope On system accommodates larger-scale buildings on shorter time frames."

Top image: Hope on Alvarado (KTGY Architecture + Planning)

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