Downtown Los Angeles’ Central City East, known as Skid Row, is an impoverished neighborhood with more than 4,000 homeless individuals. It’s one of the highest-concentrated areas of homelessness in the U.S.
Fortunately, the Skid Row Housing Trust is working hard to combat this and get as many homeless individuals off of the streets as possible, according to a report from CBS Los Angeles. Earlier this week, the Housing Trust unveiled Star Apartments, which are currently being worked on and expected to be up and running by spring. The apartments, which consist of more than 100 prefabricated modular units located on an abandoned parking garage, offer a number of benefits, including cost-effectiveness.
“This is just less money. We thought about this sometime ago and the prefab gives us an opportunity to continue to build, to continue to get homeless folks off the streets, for far less costs and much faster,” Michael Alvidrez, Skid Row Housing Trust’s executive director, told the media outlet.
Alvidrez is exactly right, as prefab buildings can typically get up and running up to 50 percent faster than those that are traditionally constructed. Prefabricated construction also helps to reduce waste and energy consumption.
Not Your Run-of-the-mill Apartment Complex
Given that the prefabricated building consists of modular units, Alvidrez tells CBS Los Angeles, “I don’t know if there is any other building like this in the country.” Apart from a simple housing solution to help address the issue of homelessness plaguing Skid Row, the modular building will serve a number of other purposes, he explained.
Once completed, the complex will feature money management, psychiatric and medical services, as well as a library, an art room and an exercise room, Alvidrez noted. A cost-effective, environmentally friendly modular complex offering an abundance of benefits like these could represent a new dawn for residential developments, according to architect Michael Maltzan.
“It’s a model, or a demonstration, for the way to build residential units in the city, especially as the city gets denser and denser,” he said.
Obviously we’re big fans of modular for its ability to deliver quality buildings quickly and affordably. So, naturally, we’re pleased to see the City of Los Angeles put it to good use to help those truly in need.