FlyawayHomes, LLC is a public-benefit corporation organized by Steaven Jones Development Company, Inc. and Bella Vista Property Management, Inc. to develop permanent supportive housing in the greater Los Angeles area. It was founded on the principal that in order to solve the homeless crisis, permanent supportive housing must be built as an economically viable investment vehicle, providing a reasonable return to investors—without the need for government funds or private donations. As a public-benefit entity, any funds that FlyawayHomes receives are used for support services or development costs for its permanent supportive housing projects.
As of November 2016, there are estimated to be over 44,000 homeless in the City of Los Angeles, an increase of 11% over 2015. Eric Garcetti, the Mayor of Los Angeles, has promoted a policy of Housing First, whereby housing is the first step to getting people off the street. The best way to provide housing for people who have been homeless, because of their mental illness and other afflictions, is through Permanent Supportive Housing (“PSH”). PSH provides not only comfortable, secure and safe living environments, but also support services (such as counseling, recovery meetings, financial advice, etc.). In November 2016, voters in Los Angeles approved Proposition HHH which provides $1.2 billion of funding for PSH projects through bonds issued over 10 years. In Southern California, it is commonly thought that construction costs for PSH runs approximately $350,000 per unit, because of high construction costs, stringent code requirements and lengthy permitting and inspection periods. Even with the generous HHH funds, these funds would only finance housing for about 3,400 people.
The growing number of homeless has developed into a crisis situation for The People Concern, which provides social services to homeless and other vulnerable people in the City of Los Angeles. They simply do not have housing for their clients. Steaven Jones, a long-time board member, founded a task force to try to find ways to build PSH more cost effectively. He engaged Kevin Hirai and Lawry Meister, and together they found GrowthPoint Structures, a company experienced in repurposing used shipping containers into attractive, economical classrooms and affordable housing. GrowthPoint Structures has designed standard four bedroom and two bedroom units that work well as permanent supportive housing, with a minimum of 200 square feet per client. There is also a community area that has a large gathering space, laundry facilities, bathroom, kitchenette and meeting room. These modular units can be used in various configurations, depending on lot size and zoning specifications. They can also be built within six months, instead of three years for a standard PSH project, which greatly helps to reduce the cost.
Working with GrowthPoint Structures and a team of experienced architects, engineers and other consultants, FlyawayHomes has been able to reduce the cost for PSH projects to about $75,000 per bed. With a reasonable government allotment for each of The People Concern’s clients, FlyawayHomes is able to offer investors an annual cash return of 5-6% per year. In this way, FlyawayHomes can build PSH projects quickly where The People Concern will provide support services, providing housing for the homeless in Los Angeles, as a start for them to rebuild their lives.
Steaven Jones Development Company, Inc. (“SJDC”) is a fully-integrated commercial real estate development company founded by Steaven Jones in 1965. It currently manages 18 properties that are owned by SJDC’s affiliated entities. In addition, it develops commercial and mixed-use projects in Los Angeles County. Over its 50 year history, SJDC has developed over 100 commercial projects in Southern California, including office buildings, shopping centers, free-standing retail stores, mixed-use buildings and automotive care malls. Lawry Meister, the company’s President, joined the firm in 1990 and oversees the day-to- day operations. SJDC takes pride in providing high and consistent returns to its investors. The firm maintains excellent tenant relations and close attention to cost control, which contributes to the company’s success in retaining tenants and developing and managing successful projects.
Bella Vista Property Management, Inc. is a leading property management company named “Long Beach’s Best” and strives to exceed client expectations by providing superior customer service and managing from an owner’s perspective. Bella Vista owns and manages property throughout Los Angeles, with concentration in the Westside, South Bay, and Long Beach areas. Their portfolio of properties range from single-family homes, to office buildings, commercial properties, condominiums, shopping centers and large multi-unit apartment complexes and community associations.
Kevin Hirai founded the firm in 2010 after experiencing frustrations with his property management company at the time. These frustrations led to the development of the Bella Vista Property Management platform that exists today to meet the objectives of active investors. Robust reporting capabilities and cloud based computing set this proprietary platform apart from others in the industry and provide an enhanced user experience for tenants and landlords alike.
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