For-profit

Venice Community Housing

Venice Community Housing (VCH) is a property management firm in Los Angeles, California. The firm operates as a nonprofit, relying on grants and donations, and cites left-progressive ideology as its motivation for providing housing. Approximately one-third of the units that VCH owns are set aside for the homeless, and the firm offers a number of community services for residents of its properties, including job training and youth programs. [1]

Background

Venice Community Housing cites what it calls an “emerging housing crisis” in Los Angeles starting in the late 1980s as the reason for its founding. According to the firm, its founders set out to combat what they saw as “the emerging gentrification” of the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles, which they said was “threatening the rich diversity” of the local community. The founders set out to create a property management firm that adhered to left-progressive principles, and launched VCH – originally called the Venice Community Housing Corporation – in 1988. [2]

Initiatives

Venice Community Housing claims to have responded to a gang war which broke out in Los Angeles in 1994 by launching education and job training programs for the community with the intent to “offer at-risk youth the opportunity to stabilize their lives.” [3]

Today, the firm offers a range of services for residents of its properties. Venice YouthBuild provides education and job training to high school dropouts and unemployed adults. Teen Court is a disciplinary program hosted at Venice High School which VCH claims can serve as an alternative to the juvenile criminal justice system for first-time teenage offenders. [4]

Impact

Venice Community Housing owns and manages more than 210 low-income housing units in 15 buildings in the Venice, Mar Vista, and Del Rey neighborhoods of Los Angeles. 78 of these are reserved for the homeless. As of 2015, the firm had more than 510 tenants, including more than 160 who were previously homeless. [5] In July 2021, the American Institute of Architects recognized VCH for its services and activism. [6]

Leadership

Becky Dennison has been the executive director of Venice Community Housing since January 2016. She was previously the co-executive director of the Los Angeles Community Action Network, a left-of-center activist group which pushes for expanding taxpayer-funded welfare benefits and housing programs. Dennison spent more than two decades as a nonprofit manager and community organizer. She received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Minnesota. [7]

Allison Riley has been the senior director of housing development at VCH since March 2020. She previously worked for several other low-income housing developers throughout the state of California. Riley also worked for several government housing agencies in Colorado, including a Department of Housing and Urban Development office in Denver and the Boulder County Housing Authority. She received a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Colorado. [8]

Anup Patel is the senior project manager for housing development at VCH. He previously worked for several real estate development firms. Patel received a master’s degree in architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture and a bachelor’s degree from New York University. [9]

Financials

In 2019, VCH received more than $2.6 million in contributions and grants. The firm also collected more than $1.5 million in rent and more than $410,000 in fees for housing management and community outreach services. [10] High-level supporters of VCH have included the Annenberg Foundation, the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the Richard and Eleanor Dwyer Fund, and the California Community Fund. [11]

References

  1. About Community Housing. Venice Community Housing. Accessed July 31, 2021. https://www.vchcorp.org/about-us/ ^
  2. Our History. Venice Community Housing. Accessed July 31, 2021. https://www.vchcorp.org/history/ ^
  3. Our History. Venice Community Housing. Accessed July 31, 2021. https://www.vchcorp.org/history/ ^
  4. Our History. Venice Community Housing. Accessed July 31, 2021. https://www.vchcorp.org/history/ ^
  5. Our History. Venice Community Housing. Accessed July 31, 2021. https://www.vchcorp.org/history/ ^
  6. “Venice Community Housing Receives Honor From American Institute Of Architects.” Yo! Venice. July 27, 2021. Accessed July 31, 2021. https://yovenice.com/2021/07/27/venice-community-housing-receives-honor-from-american-institute-of-architects-yo-venice-show-july-27-2021/ ^
  7. Executive Director – Becky Dennison. Venice Community Housing. Accessed July 31, 2021. https://www.vchcorp.org/about-us/500-2/ ^
  8. Executive Management Team. Venice Community Housing. Accessed July 31, 2021. https://www.vchcorp.org/management/ ^
  9. Executive Management Team. Venice Community Housing. Accessed July 31, 2021. https://www.vchcorp.org/management/ ^
  10. Venice Community Housing Corporation 2019 IRS Form 990. Accessed July 31, 2021. https://www.vchcorp.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/VCHC-2019-Form-990-Public-Dissemination-Copy.pdf ^
  11. 2016 Supporters. Venice Community Housing. Accessed July 31, 2021. https://www.vchcorp.org/2016-supporters/ ^
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