40-Unit West Hollywood Apartment Building Provides Housing For Those in the Performing Arts Community with Financial Hardships and Special Needs
Los Angeles, CA (September 13, 2021) – The Actors Fund, the national human services organization for everyone in the performing arts and entertainment community, held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the newly renovated Palm View Apartments in West Hollywood on Thursday, September 9. Attendees included: Mayor of the City of West Hollywood Lindsey Horvath; The Actors Fund Trustee & Chair of the Western Council David Rambo; Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA) Executive Director Emilio Salas; Kingdom Development, Inc. Vice President Finance Grant Stephens; Project Manager of MFRG-ICON Ron Britton; VP, Community Development Banking at JP Morgan Chase & Co. Eri Kameyama; City of West Hollywood Mayor Pro Tempore Lauren Meister; City of West Hollywood Councilmember John Erikson; and City of West Hollywood Councilmember Septi Shyne to celebrate this milestone achievement for its residents in need.
The Actors Fund purchased The Palm View Apartments in November 2018 for residents who have a professional history in the performing arts and entertainment community and have been diagnosed with a permanent disability. The Palm View originally opened in 1998 to provide affordable housing to people living with AIDS but expanded its mission in 2015 to serve people with disabilities and special needs.
The renovation included property updates to make the units as well as common spaces more accessible for its residents, ensuring all units follow current ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) regulations. There are now 5 fully ADA-compliant units on the property, designed specifically for wheelchair-users. All of the other 34 units are ADA-adaptable, and can be modified to meet the needs of current and future residents with varying disabilities and special needs.
“The Actors Fund is proud to have safely completed a $17.8 million renovation of The Palm View,” said Joe Benincasa, President and CEO of The Actors Fund. “These improvements greatly enhance the well-being and day-to-day living of our residents, and provide additional accessibility and accommodations to meet the needs of our current and future residents with varying disabilities and special needs. We’re so grateful to all who have supported this crucial project for some of our most vulnerable members of the entertainment community in West Hollywood.”
As part of the renovation, all one-bedroom units and one of the 2-bedroom units are subsidized by the Section 8 Project-Based Voucher Rental Assistance Program provided by the LACDA, to ensure that the complex is housing people who are most in need financially, and that rents will remain affordable for tenants.
“One of the most rewarding aspects of serving as Chair of The Actors Fund Western Council is getting a first-hand look at the incredible work The Fund does to support so many in the entertainment industry,” said David Rambo. “I’m thrilled that renovations at The Palm View are officially complete, and residents with special needs can safely live among others in the community who understand both the unique challenges and triumphs of a life in the arts.”
The project involved a full renovation of every unit, including new bathrooms and kitchens with all new appliances, counters and cabinetry. All units were painted, light fixtures updated, and residents had the choice between 3 different flooring colors. New HVAC systems were installed in every unit, as well as windows to meet environmental standards. The entire building was replumbed.
The Palm View’s Community Room, which hosts events and programs for residents, was completely redone with a new kitchen, bathroom and mailbox area. The Community Room’s second floor now features a revamped computer lab and a private office for the complex’s full-time, on-site social worker. The elevator and laundry rooms were upgraded, and the camera system was replaced for added security. Though no major changes could be made to the façade of the building, as elements of the historic property needed to be preserved, the building was repaired where needed, and updated with new paint, a new roof and drought-resistant landscaping.
Emilio Salas, LACDA Executive Director, said, “The renovation of The Palm View Apartments represents a collective effort to improving the accessibility and affordability of units for performing arts and entertainment professionals. With these changes, we hope to bring the same smiles and enjoyment to the talented residents of The Palm View Apartments as they once gave to others.”
“It’s wonderful to see The Actors Fund making this project a reality,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey P. Horvath. “The Palm View, with its three residential buildings and a beautiful outdoor courtyard, features 40 units of service-rich housing for low-income people with special needs. It was one of the first projects of its kind to offer housing specifically to people living with HIV/AIDS. The Actors Fund’s commitment to providing case management, referrals to local resources, counseling and community-building activities is exactly what our City needs. I’ve had the pleasure of regularly visiting The Palm View during my volunteer work with Project Angel Food, and I particularly enjoy connecting with residents to make sure their needs are met. The City of West Hollywood is deeply committed to the development and preservation of affordable housing, and we’re happy to work with The Actors Fund to sustain affordable housing opportunities at The Palm View.”
Residents of The Palm View Apartments have begun to utilize the newly renovated space. This past July, the residents gathered for a pandemic-safe 4th of July picnic in the Courtyard, wearing masks and remaining socially distant while enjoying the new barbecues and patio furniture. The Palm View has also transitioned its art class back to in-person, and residents now meet weekly in the Courtyard to paint and socialize.
“We’re so grateful to the City of West Hollywood (WEHO) and the Los Angeles County Development Authority (LACDA) for their commitment to these comprehensive and beautiful renovations at The Palm View,” said Keith McNutt, Executive Director of the Western Region of The Actors Fund. “The project team, led by Actors Fund Chief Financial Officer Connie Yoo, Kingdom Development and construction partner MFRG-ICON, overcame unprecedented obstacles throughout 2020, but never faltered in their dedication to building improvements that not only benefit current residents, but also all those to come.”
"LA County simply doesn't have enough apartments that working people can afford," said Sheila Kuehl, Los Angeles County Supervisor. "That's why the renovation of The Palm View is so important, because it means that nearly 50 West Hollywood residents will continue to have a decent, affordable place to call home for years to come."
The $17.8 million renovation project of The Palm View began in 2019, and amid challenges and delays brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, was completed at the end of 2020. This project was possible through a Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and partners who provided funding in various ways: LACDA, WEHO, RBC Community Investments and Chase Community Development Banking.
Eligibility requirements for apartments at The Palm View are based on a professional history in the arts, a diagnosis of a permanent disability (applicants must be receiving disability benefits) and annual income criteria established by the federal government.
For more information on The Palm View, please visit: Actorsfund.org/PalmView
ABOUT THE ACTORS FUND
The Actors Fund is a national human services organization that fosters stability and resiliency, and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan. The Fund serves everyone in film, theater, television, music, opera, radio and dance with programs including social services and emergency financial assistance, health care and insurance counseling, senior and affordable housing, and secondary employment and training services. Visit actorsfund.org.