By Edwin Folven, 2/07/2013
Gay and elderly housing units under construction
Members of the LGBT community seeking affordable housing may find a new place to call home at The Argyle, a new residential project under construction on Western Avenue between Sunset and Hollywood boulevards.
The non-profit organization Gay and Lesbian Elder Housing Los Angeles (GLEH) began work on the new 40-unit building in January. The four-story, $17.5 million project will be located within a block of the Metro Red Line station at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Western Avenue, and is within a short distance of supermarkets, restaurants and shopping. Like GLEH’s other housing facility — Triangle Square, near the corner of Selma and Ivar avenues in Hollywood — The Argyle will offer services specifically geared towards the LGBT community. GLEH executive director Eric Harrison said Triangle Square and The Argyle were designed as models for LGBT housing.
“On March 22, 2007, we opened our doors at Triangle Square to the nation’s first LGBT friendly affordable senior housing development,” Harrison said. “[The Argyle] expands GLEH’s footprint in our home district of Hollywood to more individuals seeking affordable housing in an LGBT friendly environment.”
The Argyle will offer one to three-bedroom apartments, with the average rents ranging from $200 to $800. The units are geared towards low-income individuals, families and seniors. Harrison said residents will enjoy writing and art classes, bingo, yoga and more, and it is close enough to Triangle Square that residents can easily travel there to take advantage of additional services and classes.
“It’s one Metro stop away from Triangle Square, and it’s a great area for amenities and great fun stuff,” Harrison said. “That area is redeveloping very rapidly.”
Harrison said The Argyle will be a scaled-down version of Triangle Square, which has 104 units. Alice Herman, 77, who has lived at Triangle Square for nearly four years, said it is important for older members of the LGBT community to have a place that is sensitive to their needs. She likened the amenities and services to “living on a cruise ship.”
“Triangle Square is amazing. When I first came here, I said, ‘this can’t be affordable housing’,” Herman said. “For me it’s perfect. You’re right in the middle of everything; everything is within walking distance.”
The Argyle project is a collaboration between GLEH and AMCAL Multi Housing Inc. It is being constructed with public funding from the California Redevelopment Agency, low income tax credits and some private funding.
GLEH is supported by the California Wellness Foundation, the California Community Foundation, the Annenberg Foundation and several other entities. Harrison said there is a definite need for LGBT housing, and cited the long waiting list for units at Triangle Square.
“Triangle Square was the first project of its kind in the nation, and this will be our second project,” he said. “There is a huge demand for this, and we really want to take the GLEH model to the national level.
The project is expected to open in spring 2014, and GLEH has already begun accepting applications from prospective residents. For information, call (323)957-7200.