The City of Palmdale’s Courson Arts Colony (CAC) was awarded the 2020 Helen Putnam Award for excellence in the category of Housing Programs and Innovations by the League of California Cities at its virtual annual conference held Thursday, Oct. 8
This award comes just months after the City and the CAC won the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) 2020 Sustainability Award, also in the Housing Innovation category.
“The CAC has been a project 20-years in the making that required strong commitment from City staff, City Council, and the community,” said Palmdale Mayor Steve Hofbauer. “I am proud to have worked with City Council on this important project. It’s the latest piece of revitalization and housing innovation that also includes Legacy Commons for Active Seniors, two dedicated senior housing complexes, and the newly renovated Courson Park and Pool, Palmdale’s first park and pool and considered to be the heart of the neighborhood.”
“I could not be any prouder of our staff who have collaborated over the years to create a unique experience that provides much needed affordable housing and important resources,” said Palmdale City Manager J.J. Murphy. “The CAC has added to the city center two modern three-story affordable housing complexes providing 160 units for families and individuals earning 50 percent or less of the area median income, and 60 of these units are permanent supportive housing apartments already serving medically complex veteran and non-veteran households experiencing homelessness.”
“City Housing staff met with community members, groups and partners,” said Director of Neighborhood Services Mike Miller. “Our community overwhelmingly agreed that not only did we need to house our homeless veterans and other homeless individuals but provide a greater quality of life. The CAC is designed as an arts-oriented community, with amenities meant to provide spaces to inspire a healthy, healing, and creative lifestyle.”
Some of those amenities include a community clubhouse, game rooms, homework rooms, art studios, dance studio, computer and learning spaces, fitness center, bicycle repair and storage space, an art walk and a fully functioning non-profit art gallery. It also has many outdoor amenities, including an amphitheater, picnic areas, a toddler playground, and community gardening areas. Today, the CAC is home to the people and families it was planned and designed to serve, and the entire neighborhood and City has felt the positive impact.
“It has been amazing to see the goals of the project achieved and to watch these three blocks and this neighborhood transform,” said Housing Manager Sophia Reyes. “We have worked hard to restore this neighborhood. Today, it is again a place that residents are proud to call home.”