Los Angeles Community Design Center

The entity known as the LA/CDC whose interests and purposes are outlined below, no longer exists. What remains is Robin Hughes, who heads one of SoCal‘s oldest providers of affordable housing (founded in 1968) still manages to get the job done. Robin links Abode’s success to the community design center movement of the 1960s, when architects provided pro bono services for socially beneficial projects. (See Adobe Communities here.) In the ‘80s, the org started to do real estate development but continues to have an in-house architectural studio with a focus on community. with resident services such as on-site child care. Ali Barar, now a principal at GGA+ (Gonzalez Goodale Architects). The Report is has yet to discover reasons for the loss other than devolution.

Robin Hughes, Director
Ali Barar, Architect Director
315 West 9th Street (Suite 410)
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Telephone: 213-629-2702
Fax: 213-627-6407
e-Mail: rh*****@la***.com or ab****@la***.com

The LA/CDC is a nonprofit architecture, planning, and housing development firm that works with community groups to accomplish needed projects in low-income neighborhoods. Since 1968 LA/CDC has provided technical assistance to more than five hundred organizations in building childcare centers, health care clinics, senior service centers, homeless shelters, and permanent affordable housing for low-income people. Active client participation is central to the Center’s work. In recent years, LA/CDC has helped start five new community-based development corporations in low-income neighborhoods and worked with new CDCs on two dozen housing projects. In 1991 a new capacity building program was initiated to assist community groups interested in forming CDCs and newly-formed CDCs beginning work on community development projects.

Examples of the types of assistance include (1) basic, intensive organizational development assistance, (2) help in effectively assimilating housing-related technical assistance, (3) help in expanding or reshaping existing nonprofit organizations to meet development-related demands, and (4) assistance in developing organizational strategies to address the community needs of the CDC’s neighborhood.

In 1971, the Center operated on a large volunteer basis on a budget of approximately $3,250 [? One pack of cigarettes a day for a year, NJ, 2011]. In 1973, the Center’s annual operating budget was $40,000 $124,000, and it had administered a credit/work-based program through VISTA known as the University Year for Action (UYA). Its board of directors comprises seven professionals, seven educators, and fourteen community representatives. In addition, it had a program staff and a working group of about forty professionals and some thirty-five students working for academic credit from the Universities of Southern California and California at Los Angeles; California State Polytechnic College at Pomona, and Southern California Institute of Architecture.

Annual Budget (1995) $1,470,000 
Planners 16 
Total Full-Time Staff: 25 
The average annual number of Clients: 25 
Year Formed: 1968
Type of Organization: Technical assistance to housing and community development corporations, homeless shelters, housing development, and rehabilitation projects. 
Purpose: To provide architectural, planning, and development services to low-income people and community groups in southern California. 
Who Is Eligible?: Low-income community groups and nonprofits. 
Services: Architectural services (full range) – Low-Income Housing Development, Technical assistance to groups on planning community development projects, and Syndication consulting. 
Publication(s)/Cost: Newsletter; no cost. 
Fee for Services Policy: It varies, depending on the ability to pay. 
Area(s) Served: Southern California, Los Angeles