Jack Kemp Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing Awards 2017 Finalist: Veo

Veo is a mixed-use, mixed-income project composed of 152 units of for-sale housing in four product types: stacked flats, two and three story townhouses, and single family homes. The project also includes 14,000 SF of ground floor retail fronting on the rejuvenated main street of Carson, CA, a diverse, working class community in the Los Angeles region.

The City’s goal has been to turn its main street (Carson St.) into an active, walkable corridor with quality mixed-use development and streetscape improvements. Previous developments had been tax-credit rental projects and the City was anxious to diversify the housing types by providing opportunities for first time homebuyers, but at price points serving the city’s workforce demographics. The Veo site is one block from City Hall and was a blighted mobile home park cleared by the City’s redevelopment agency.

In 2012 when the State of California dissolved all 400+ redevelopment agencies throughout the state and hundreds of projects were jeopardized, Veo was caught in this maelstrom. Efforts by the City of Carson and CityView/Community Dynamics, including financing and approvals, rescued this project. Its completion and success can serve as a model for accomplishing needed housing where no formal redevelopment agency exists.

The site also showcases environmental innovations including solar panels, which provide power for the common areas, and the most advanced “low impact development” standards (energy efficiency; stormwater management; drought-tolerant landscaping). In addition to the site’s walkability, every townhouse fronts on a landscaped paseo leading to the community center, pool and tot lot. Cars are kept to a loop road on the perimeter, with garages off motor courts. The retail space fronts the public street, enhanced with streetscape improvements and an outdoor dining area. The units themselves are sized for families, ranging from 1 to 5 bedrooms, and each has private outdoor space (either balconies or enclosed patios).

The site has led to a truly mixed-income community; in addition to the restricted below market rate units, the vast majority of the unrestricted units (which include 3 or 4 bedrooms) were still priced well below the median home price for the region ($600K+). This gave the community’s middle income families their first opportunity to buy new quality homes at a price they could afford.

Location: Carson, CA
Developer: CityView and Community Dynamics
Owner: CityView and Community Dynamics
City of Carson

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