Eco-Villagers demonstrate the processes for creating a healthy neighborhood ecologically, socially and economically. The strategy is to reduce environmental impacts while raising the quality of neighborhood life. The LA Eco-Village is a demonstration of sustainable community development that shares its processes, strategies and techniques with others through tours, talks, workshops, conferences, public advocacy and other media.
Location and Size
Approximately 3 miles west of downtown on Bimini and White House Place, one block east of one of Los Angeles most auto congested traffic corridors, Vermont Avenue. A two block neighborhood with approximately 11 acres. The Eco-Village is in 3 of the city’s special planning districts, including the Wilshire Center/Koreatown Redevelopment Area, the East Hollywood Targeted Neighborhood Initiative, and the Station Neighborhood Area Plan (SNAP).
The LA Eco-Village is within a 2 to 10 minute walk of 20 bus lines and 2 metro Redline subway stops. The closest Metro station is the red line at Beverly/Vermont. And buses #16 and #316 on Third Street, #14 or #11 on Beverly, #204, #201, and #754 on Vermont. For trip planning go to http://www.mta.net
The two block mixed use working class neighborhood has a rich geological and social history. Home of the historic Bimini Baths from 1901 to 1951, the Bimini Slough also wended its way around the neighborhood. The old trolley car, destroyed in the 50’s, had its turn around on Bimini place as well. Approximately 500 persons liven in 13 historically significant apartment buildings consisting of 164 units of housing. An alcohol and drug recovery home serving approximately 100 persons is also located on the block along two auto repair shops, a K-2 public school, the Bresee Community and Youth Center (http://bresee.org/), the Mijoo Peace Church and a public adult school for English as a second language.
Building Ownership, Finance and Rehab
The Cooperative Resources and Services Project -CRSP- owns two buildings consisting of 48 units of housing. CRSP’S Ecological Revolving Loan Fund (ELF), a community development loan fund, is the source of funds for these acquisitions. ELF monies are also being used for basic rehabilitation and ecological retrofitting of the buildings. Future plans call for conversion of the buildings to permanently affordable cooperative ownership. Rental cash flow from the buildings is sufficient to maintain the properties.
Overall demographics of the neighborhood include approximately 15 ethnic groups. Incomes are very low to middle. A diversity of households includes singles, couples, single parents, nuclear families, room mates, and extended families. Ages range from infancy to the elderly. 500 neighbors in the 2 block area, about 75 now participate in some Eco-Village activities.
Approximately 35 neighbors from diverse backgrounds and income levels have moved to the neighborhood intentionally to learn, share their knowledge and to demonstrate EcoVillage? processes. Many attend regular community potluck dinners, community meetings, workshops on permaculture approaches to sustainable urban living, community work parties, and provide a variety of public services to the neighborhood and the city at large on a broad range of sustainability areas.
About one half no longer own cars, and a few are starting small ecological cooperative neighborhood based businesses. Households which do not own cars receive a $20 per month discount on their rent. While 35 neighbors moved to LA Eco-Village intentionally, we share our buildings and the neighborhood with many pre-existing neighbors.
LA Eco-Village is sponsored by the Cooperative Resources and Services Project, a nonprofit 501.c.3 community development organization founded in 1980 which is a resource center for small ecological cooperative communities. It is located in the LA Eco-Village neighborhood.