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Lancaster City Council to Hear Plan Proposing a Public/Private Partnership Offering Innovative Support Services for Homeless Persons and Families

Proposed Partnership Would Result in Needed and Secure Housing and Services

Post Date:11/09/2017 3:00 PM

Next Tuesday evening, the Lancaster City Council will hear and consider a proposed Public/Private Partnership agreement with InSite Development LLC. If approved, the partnership will launch an innovative strategic plan to reduce homelessness, provide affordable housing, and offer specialized support services for Antelope Valley homeless persons and families.

With the goal of developing a holistic model for addressing the various contributing factors that result in homelessness, the Lancaster Housing Authority and InSite Development have worked to troubleshoot barriers to affordable housing projects. Through the proposed agreement, InSite is slated to construct and operate 51 permanent affordable housing units; 100 temporary mini housing units; five small shelters, housing 20 people each; 4,000 square feet for onsite service providers; 4,500 square feet for onsite medical services; and 18,000 square feet for other services for at-risk individuals and families. The proposed location for this development is in the City of Lancaster at Avenue I and 32nd Street West.

InSite would own and operate the permanent housing units, which would be available for those who have achieved independence from being homeless. As for the onsite support services to be offered, InSite would contract with the non-profit corporation, The People Concern, to manage, operate and provide those amenities to the site tenants and at-risk participants. The People Concern (formerly OPCC and Lamp Community) aims to not only help homeless persons and families become independent of being homeless, but also assist tenants with retaining housing by maximizing their ability to live independently.

“We are extremely excited about this project and how it will transform the plight of homelessness in the Antelope Valley. We want to work with the City of Lancaster to bring together creative solutions that treat the whole person and redefines each one’s ability to thrive,” said Scott Ehrlich, Principal and Partner of InSite Development LLC. “To achieve this goal, we searched for a successful, high-quality service provider that embraces innovation and the advancement of the complete individual and family unit. We are grateful to have found this characteristic in The People Concern.”

Due in part to Los Angeles County Measure H funding, greater steps can now be taken to more fully address the overwhelming need for dedicated resources toward homelessness solutions.

“For far too long, our community has suffered from a homeless crisis whose tremendous burden has been carried primarily by our faith-based community,” said Lancaster Vice Mayor Marvin Crist. “The Lancaster City Council is very much looking forward to this opportunity to consider additional resources to finally alleviate the homeless condition in our Valley. Both Lancaster and Los Angeles County are obligated and committed to doing our parts. Knowing that an established and proven community developer is eager to work with us to make a real difference is extremely promising.”

The City staff recommendation delineates the proposed use of property and services as worthy contributions in assisting the community with the growing dire needs of homeless persons and families. Staff also identifies the proposed construction as compliant with the Housing Element of the City’s General Plan.

“I am most excited about the services that are incorporated into the proposed project,” said Lancaster Council Member Raj Malhi. “Given the exceptional reputation of The People Concern, the Council anticipates an effective transitional strategy to be part of the considered agreement.”

In ongoing support of the collaborative efforts utilized to find long-term solutions to regional homelessness, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger added, “Working with the City in a proactive approach, this project exemplifies the type of effective partnership we need to address the homelessness crisis in our Valley."

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