The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) has announced that the City of Palmdale’s Courson Arts Colony won the 2020 Sustainability Award in the Housing Innovation category.
SCAG’s Sustainability Awards program annually recognizes excellence in coordinating land use and transportation to improve mobility, livability, prosperity and sustainability. The program received a record number of applications this year.
“We are honored and pleased to be recognized by SCAG with this prestigious award for such a remarkable project,” said Palmdale Mayor Steve Hofbauer. “Our team took an area that had previously struggled and transformed it into quality housing and amenities to help those who need it the most.”
Over the past twenty years the City redeveloped three City blocks in the downtown area, including construction of a new senior center and 153 units of affordable housing for seniors; acquired and revitalized 291 affordable housing units; replaced the first community swimming pool in Courson Park; and most recently completed the final phase of development known as the Courson Arts Colony. The Colony consists of 159 affordable housing units with the development being focused around the cultivation and promotion of the arts. All apartments are equipped with fully furnished kitchens.
Courson Arts Colony’s common areas consist of a fitness room, a dance studio, art gallery, an art walk, flexible art space, digital art room, clubhouse room, homework room, leasing room, and an outdoor amphitheater. It contains 60 permanent supportive housing apartments that will serve medically complex veteran and non-veteran households experiencing homelessness.
“I could not be any prouder of our staff who have collaborated over the years to create a unique experience that provides much needed housing and important resources,” said Palmdale City Manager J.J. Murphy. “Along with the affordability aspect of this project, it carved out opportunities for artists and had 40 apartments set aside for veterans. The arts component serves and provides an environment for artists or those who wish to live in an artist-centric environment, as well as serving as a healing element for our veterans living here who may be suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Classes and support staff are on hand to work with and encourage tenants to utilize the amenities and explore their artistic spirit.”
Due to the cancelation of SCAG’s 2020 Regional Conference and General Assembly, the Sustainability Award winners will unfortunately not be honored at a formal ceremony, but the video for Palmdale’s award may be viewed here: https://vimeo.com/415272764
Founded in 1965, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is a Joint Powers Authority under California state law, established as an association of local governments and agencies that voluntarily convene as a forum to address regional issues. Under federal law, SCAG is designated as a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) and under state law as a Regional Transportation Planning Agency and a Council of Governments.
The SCAG region encompasses six counties (Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura) and 191 cities in an area covering more than 38,000 square miles. The agency develops long-range regional transportation plans including sustainable communities strategy and growth forecast components, regional transportation improvement programs, regional housing needs allocations and a portion of the South Coast Air Quality management plans.
To learn more about SCAG, please visit www.scag.ca.gov/ .