The EcoHood project was conceived in response to two trends in housing: downsizing and sustainability. The concept makes use of advances in home building technology to address L.A.’s shortage of affordable permanent housing.

While Mayor Bass’ Inside Safe program has succeeded in getting people at least temporarily housed — moving 21,694 people into temporary housing, she says — only 256 people moved into permanent housing.

Expanding the EcoHood model citywide can help close the gap. The factory-built homes are architecturally consistent with any neighborhood, are as long lasting as on-site construction, don’t harm the environment and don’t take years to build.

A recurring knock on developing city-owned property for homeless housing is that L.A.’s vast inventory of land includes odd-shaped lots that are considered unsuitable for residential construction.

LA CAN’s EcoHood development in South Central L.A. overcomes the problem by placing prefabricated homes on the half-acre lot, in the shape of a chef’s knife.

The Skid-Row based nonprofit commissioned an architectural plan that arranged 11 free-standing structures in the blade portion of the lot, leaving room for a community garden on the handle — an amenity that will be open to anyone in the neighborhood.

The South Central L.A. prototype is being developed without public funds, on donated land with professional and volunteer labor.

save lives. save the earth.