El Nuevo Amanecer Apartments rendering

East Los Angeles -- A ceremonial groundbreaking was held this week for a 61-unit affordable housing project meant to offer a bit of relief in what’s become a daunting homeless crisis.

The groundbreaking comes as the region is reckoning with a growing homeless population.  

Last week, the Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority announced there had been a 12% increase in homelessness countywide.  

"Unfortunately, no matter how many people are coming forward and accepting services, shelter, and housing, more people are falling into homelessness," said County Supervisor Hilda Solis, who represents unincorporated East L.A., in a statement. "Given that the root causes of our homelessness crisis are economic, it’s clear what needs to done: more affordable housing for low-income renters must be built."

Solis was on hand Monday during the groundbreaking celebration for  El Nuevo Amanecer Apartments. Developed by the East LA Community Corporation, the complex that will rise on First Street and Rowan Avenue will have 31 units of  permanent supportive housing for homeless veterans and 28 units for low-income families (2 units will be occupied by managers).

New Directions for Veterans and the LA Homeless Services Agency will help place veterans in the 31 units of the new apartments and applications for the remaining units will be available next year.

The project costs about $39 million and was funded in part by the Los Angeles County Development Authority, Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention (VHHP) Program and the Home Depot Foundation.

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