Intersection’s Nonprofit Spotlight series profiles South L.A. organizations that are propelling positive change in South L.A. Here we look at Esperanza Community Housing Corporation — a 25-year-old group helping people to create communities for themselves where they can thrive.
What is Esperanza Community Housing’s purpose?
Esperanza seeks to create opportunities for community residents’ growth, security, participation, recognition, and ownership through developing and preserving affordable housing, promoting accessible health care, stimulating involvement in arts and culture, ensuring quality education, pursuing economic development, and advocating for progressive public policy.
When was Esperanza Community Housing founded? 1990
Which areas does Esperanza Community Housing serve? Figueroa Corridor
What services does Esperanza Community Housing provide? The organization provides a variety of programs around the core program areas of affordable, housing, health, economic development, environmental justice, and arts and culture.
What are Esperanza Community Housing’s recent accomplishments? The organization just celebrated their 25th anniversary with their annual fundraiser.
What does Esperanza Community Housing consider as…
… top housing issues in South L.A.?
The biggest housing issue is that families are being displaced from their homes and that housing is no longer affordable. Its not affordable to affordable housing developers to gain a foothold and put in more housing for them. And, most of the developers that are coming in here are coming in without a concept that their needs to be an inclusionary piece that includes housing that is affordable to families. Another housing impact is that as Skid Row becomes gentrified, more and more homeless people are also being pushed farther south into areas where there may or may not be services to accommodate them. So the right to the city and who has the right to live here remains one of the big issues- housing affordability and habitability, the fact that families who are being pushed away from homes that had at one time been affordable are now doubling and tripling up. There are health consequences and mental health consequences that are a result of all those pressures. So we want to see housing rights recognized in this area for the people who live and work here.
…economic issues in South L.A?
This is an area of great poverty. The incursion of wealthier people does not cross over. It’s creating pockets of poverty and putting more pressure on the impoverished rather than lifting the quality of life for all and that is a problem. We are also very concerned about the displacement of mom and pop businesses, so the development of University village is an area of concern of ours that those people not be displaced in the area. We also want the kind of retail to come in here not to exclude the participation of people who live in the area.
…top education issues in South L.A.?
This has been the area where we’ve had the greatest proliferation of new LAUSD schools but the people who are moving into this neighborhood don’t have children. They are mostly young urban professionals or students. So we have concerns that now that we finally have schools that are not doubling or tripling up, they’re not on a year-round calendar, they’re on a calendar year, that those schools are going to be losing children from the area. This has also been an area where most of our schools are failing. They’re not really providing children with a quality education and that has always been a concern of ours. We’d like to see that now that there are new schools in the area that the schools actually have the opportunity to serve people whose families have lived here.
What are Esperanza Community Housing affiliated programs?
Affordable housing developments, Community Health Promoters Training Program, Healthy Homes Project in collaboration with St. John’s Well Child Center and Strategic Actions for Just Economy, Healthy Breathing Project, Mercado La Paloma, and People Not Pozos
Contact info: [email protected], 213.748.7285