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Our History

Building community since 1988

VCH acknowledges our presence and work in the Los Angeles region on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Tongva, Kizh, and Gabrielino peoples and strives to be good stewards of that land.

Collage of the VCH original board of directors in front of the Rose Avenue building
VCH construction job training

Up until the 1800s, the land where Venice now sits was home to the Tongva people, who were the original stewards of the land before they endured centuries of forced displacement and colonialism. In 1905, tobacco millionaire Abbot Kinney claimed Venice and turned it into a beach resort town with 16 miles of canals, three piers, and other tourist attractions. Throughout the 1900s, Venice was home to Black families who were restricted from home ownership in other parts of the neighborhood and greater Los Angeles by racially restrictive covenants, redlining, and racist lending practices. Many low-income Asian and Latino immigrants also made their way to Venice after freeway or other development forced them out of their neighborhoods. Low-income artists, musicians, and senior citizens on fixed incomes also settled in the area, finding affordable rent and a reasonable cost of living.

In 1988, the mayor of LA declared a housing crisis in the city fueled by escalating rents and property values. This same year, eight Venice community members gathered to discuss the emerging gentrification of their community. They soon realized that the key to addressing local needs was affordable housing and long term community control of land. The group focused on becoming not only an affordable housing developer, but a true grassroots, community-based organization grounded in valuing, preserving, and protecting a diverse and inclusive community. The result of their vision was the creation of Venice Community Housing.

VCH construction
VCH rally

Venice Community Housing (VCH) was founded in 1988 as a grassroots movement to develop comprehensive solutions to rising rates of homelessness and an increasing need for affordable housing for low-income individuals and families. Since then, VCH has worked to invest in permanently affordable housing, advance health and housing-based solutions for unhoused people, promote youth development and education, and build strategic partnerships focused on equity and inclusion. VCH believes we must challenge the root causes of housing injustice and homelessness and actively confront all forms of racism in order to ensure equitable communities with access to healthy, safe, and affordable homes for all.

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