What We Did
Traditional homeless and transitional housing centers in Los Angeles County can take up to three years to permit and two years or more to construct. The team for New Hope, Studio One Eleven, Howard CDM, and Mercy Housing, utilized innovative ways to build a drastically needed shelter in record time with each entity contributing solutions. This approach – especially self-certification – can now become a model for other cities.
The self-certification process radically compressed cost and timeline, and a purposeful design intends to instill a sense of comfort for the residents. The New Hope Bellflower Temporary Shelter was completed after just 12 weeks of construction and a total of five months of planning, from idea to opening.
The conventional Butler building warehouse at 8833 Cedar Street was an empty shell that now accommodates free-standing rooms and offices. The building’s ceiling is exposed at the intake/lobby and dining area to create vaulted ceilings. New storefront windows and skylights flood the center with natural light. The metal stud infill allows for swift construction. The team used “self-certification” to speed approvals by making the architect of record Studio One Eleven and the developer contractor Howard CDM responsible for city approvals while working closely with inspectors.
Because of the project’s location in Los Angeles County, it would normally be subjected to a lengthy design and construction process. However, the project was expedited in response to a local survey showing significant resident concern about the homeless issue and several discussions with U.S. District Judge David O. Carter who has been instrumental in creating solutions to the public health crisis of homelessness in Orange County.
The self-certification process allows licensed design professionals to expedite the issuance of building permits. It provides the same discretionary Planning Department oversight as more traditional processes, but it allows the contractor and builder to work creatively in the field to ensure that the approved project meets State and Local Building Code requirements. The self-certification process is relatively new, and the city looked to larger cities such as Chicago that successfully use self-certification.
The New Hope shelter features art inside and out. The exterior mural was designed by Studio One Eleven and painted by muralist Ivan Preciado.
Los Angeles, CA
North Hollywood, CA