Esperanza Community Housing Corporation (Esperanza) was founded in 1989 out of a successful community organizing campaign to prevent the displacement and housing vulnerability of tenants from six adjacent subdivided homes in South Central Los Angeles. The effort led to the development of our flagship affordable housing project, Villa Esperanza Apartments - 33 multi-bedroom units for large families, a community center, and an on-site child care program. Esperanza has grown into a nationally recognized and multi-faceted social justice organization impacting tens of thousands of people each year. Esperanza provides a comprehensive approach to community development and neighborhood revitalization for low-income families of color living in South Los Angeles. By partnering with the community to build healthy neighborhoods, Esperanza’s work has been impactful in advancing the health, dignity, and human rights of South L.A. through our core programs:
1. Affordable Housing – Preventing homelessness and displacement in South L.A., our 9 multi-family residential properties totaling 165 quality, safe apartment units offer security and shelter to over 550 low-income tenants. Esperanza believes that access to safe, quality affordable housing is a fundamental human right.
2. Health and Access to Care – Promoting a broad culture of wellness, Esperanza educates and supports the empowerment of community members to improve health and increase access to care. The Promotores de Salud (Community Health Promoters) Leadership Training Program has trained and cultivated 494 Promotores to provide culturally accessible health education, primary prevention, and advocacy to families and children. The Training Program is the framework for the rest of Esperanza’s programs at the intersection of health and housing.
3. Economic Development – The Mercado La Paloma is an inclusive, equitable economic development project that creatively integrates food, community, education, arts and culture. The Mercado provides growth opportunities and financial stability to small, family-owned businesses, thereby helping stimulate the local economy.
4. Arts and Culture – Promoting involvement in the arts and increasing community engagement, our programming celebrates South L.A.’s rich heritage and vibrant traditions through art exhibits, art workshops, artistic performances, dance classes, and large arts and cultural festivals.
5. Environmental Justice - Ensuring families are safe from toxins in their homes and neighborhoods, Esperanza advocates for public policy through a human rights and environmental justice framework.