AIDS Healthcare Foundation will get into the affordable housing game

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The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is branching out to become a developer and provider of affordable housing. The Los Angeles Times reports that the organization has purchased a building on Seventh Street in Skid Row that it plans to turn into shelter, giving priority to tenants with HIV “and other chronic illnesses.”

The single-room occupancy hotel is called the Madison, and current tenants will be allowed stay, AHF tells the Times, paying rent below under $400.

AHF is also buying a motel in Hollywood, and, in Florida, it expects to start construction on “hundreds” of new units next year.

“The current model does not work,” AHF’s top executive, Michael Weinstein told the Times, speaking about affordable housing as it is now. “It takes too much time. It costs too much money. And in a lot of cases, it excludes the people that need the most help.”

AHF has pitted itself against an array of developers, including those that build affordable housing, by launching and financing Measure S. The March ballot initiative would have place a two-year moratorium on some larger-scale real estate development citywide, but it was defeated by voters.

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, right?

AHF’s idea to buy buildings and rent them at affordable prices to people living with HIV isn’t new. AIDS advocacy organization Housing Works in New York has been successfully buying building and providing stable housing for the HIV-positive since the early 1990s.

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