Our Stories

60 New Affordable Homes for Seniors - In Honor of Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks VillaOver the last 20 years, Public Counsel's client, Ward Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), has developed more than 217 units of affordable housing, created neighborhood networks, and spearheaded intergenerational community building efforts in South Los Angeles. In 2008, WEDC began construction of the Rosa Parks Villas, to provide 60 critically needed homes for low-income seniors to enhance the quality of their lives as well as their community. The Rosa Parks Villas is expected to open in 2010.

Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, the President of WEDC, has a vision that the Rosa Parks Villas will be the first of a three-phase "Crenshaw Gateway" project, which will revitalize the Crenshaw corridor. WEDC turned to Public Counsel and pro bono attorneys from Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, to review the complex financing documents that made this project possible. Mrs. Dupont-Walker explained: "Because of our funding sources and our nonprofit mission, we cannot pass on our costs to our residents by increasing their rents as a for-profit developer could do. Public Counsel's ability to engage pro bono attorneys enabled us to create affordable housing for our residents."