It is unfortunate that your reporter chose to ignore the important and valuable current business activities of the Century Housing Corp. in his recent article (“Century Freeway Done, but Housing Agency Lingers,” July 14).
The purpose of the corporation is to provide much-needed affordable housing for families of modest means including those individuals who are the backbone of Los Angeles’ strong inner-city workforce.
Century’s business activities include not only assisting in the development of 5,400 units and 110 affordable housing developments, among other initiatives, but also:
– A $3 million commitment to a pre-apprenticeship training program, operated by the Carpenters Union, which has trained more than 7,500 at-risk youths in basic workforce skills.
– A $1.5 million commitment to Century/LIFT, a tutorial and counseling program for students and their parents, to enhance academic achievement, in cooperation with the Foshay Learning Center and the University of Southern California.
– A loan of $5.6 million for the rehabilitation and operation of the Westside Residence Hall, which has become the single largest transitional housing facility for formerly homeless veterans in the U.S., as part of a for-profit/non-profit joint venture.
– An $8 million commitment to the rehabilitation and development of the Villages at Cabrillo in Long Beach, a multi-use social services center which will provide job counseling, transitional housing, and support services to displaced and homeless families and individuals, women and children from dysfunctional homes, and those in transition to stable living environments.
– Construction of the Century Community Children’s Center in the Willowbrook neighborhood to serve as an Operation Head Start facility for 80 children from the Watts-Willowbrook communities, a $1.8 million project.
– A planned investment of $2 million in a child care facility program to determine alternative financing structures to make available more child care sites a critical need in the coming era of welfare reform.
To correct the record, it was the Century Freeway Housing Program (not the corporation) which was established 18 years ago, and it was that state agency which was then privatized two years ago as the Century Housing Corp., with the concurrence of all involved parties.
G. ALLAN KINGSTON
Century Housing Corp.