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John Perfitt and Jason Neville have come together in Los Angeles to disrupt the homeless housing marketing. Their award-winning first homeless project, Bungalow Gardens, not only will house homeless tenants for at least the next 15 years in compact and dignified style, but is also crowdfunding equity from every day investors on Small Change.
John is the Executive Director of Restore Neighborhoods LA (RNLA), an infill development nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles that has facilitated housing investment of more than $140 million into local Los Angeles neighborhoods. John has 25+ years of experience in community development, leading economic development and affordable housing projects for public, private and nonprofit organizations. He’s held roles as Director of Economic Development for the City of Downey; Senior Project Manager of the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles and lead administrator for the City of Los Angeles’ Neighborhood Stabilization Program which created hundreds of new affordable housing units in high-foreclosure neighborhoods of Los Angeles.
Jason is founder and CEO of Building Blocks, a turnkey accessory dwelling unit design-build firm in Los Angeles which he formed with John. He also consults as a project manger for RNLA and has had a major role in the Bungalow Gardens project Jason has worked as a redevelopment and planning professional for over 12 years in both the public and private sector, including both Los Angeles and New Orleans Redevelopment Agencies, for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and with a residential real estate development company he founded in New Orleans which has developed 14 units of housing valued at $3.3M. Both Jason and John teach at the USC Price School of Policy.
These boys are innovating where it is hardest to innovate, so take the time and listen in.
Insights and Inspirations
- By using a housing typology that died 70 years ago, the Bungalow Court, John and Jason are stepping back in time to solve a modern day problem.
- Working in a city where real estate development entitlements can take two years and a lot of money, developers like John and Jason, who are always working for the community first, can’t afford to have their project shot down late in the process by a vocal few. This is a tricky dilemma.
- The state implemented Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) legislation in California which was contested by single family owners at the time. Last year alone 5,000 ADUs were added to single family homes in Los Angeles and Jason expects that number to continue rising rapidly. ADUs have met a need and may help the affordable housing crisis.
Information and Links
- John is a fan of the architect Irving Gill who was concerned with the social impact of architecture over a century ago.
- Jason is a fan of Reyner Banham and follows the most important contemporary voice on urbanism in Los Angeles, Alyssa Walker.
Image courtesy of RN-LA