Low-cost housing complex for Pinoys opens in Los Angeles

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Jan. 8, 2014

LOS ANGELES – New beginnings are taking place at the Larry Itliong Village, a newly built low-income affordable housing unit run by the Pilipino Workers Center.

“It’s been a dream of mine personally and a dream of the Pilipino Workers Center to have a new building, and it’s great to be able to also help the dreams of the people who are moving into the building, have this permanent beautiful housing here in our Filipinotown,” Aqui Soriano of the Pilipino Workers Center said.

The building has 45 units, and with the help of government programs, low income tenants can rent for as low as $300 a month, depending on their income and family size.

For custodian Joel Swing, a single father who lives with his four children and elderly mother, he couldn’t be happier with his new 3-bedroom unit.

Before moving in last month, the family of six lived in a 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment while paying $1,200 for rent.

Under the program, he now pays just over a $1,000 for a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartment.

“It’s bigger. It’s nice. I have more privacy,” Swing’s wife Patricia said.

The building will also house the Pilipino Workers Center and their programs which serve the low income, including the undocumented and other immigrants, as well as campaigns such as worker rights and immigration reform.

The complex was named after Filipino labor leader Larry Itliong, who fought for the rights of Filipino farm workers in the 1960s.

“Now that we have this building, we’re able to create more visibility for the Filipino-American community, for the Pilipino Workers Center, and for that legacy of farm workers organizing for the amazing life of Larry Itliong, Philip Vera Cruz, and build upon that. Not just honor them in name but honor them in action,” Soriano said.

“One of my father’s dreams was to build the Agbayani Village and it took 40 years for another group to actually create another building with the same mentality of Agbayani Village–to help those in need, and this is a dream come true,” Itliong’s son, Johnny, said.

Close to a thousand people applied for the low-income housing in Los Angeles.

The rent prices for those who were able to move in will be adjusted annually based on their family sizes and income.

You can contact Steve Angeles at steve_angeles@abs-cbn.com for more information.

One Comment

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  • Joey
    9 January 2014 at 12:47 am - Reply

    Pag nag raid ang immigration officers sa mga illegal allien na itinatago ninyo diyan sa low cost housing.Puweden isara ang building ninyo ……. Harboring of illegal allien ay isang kasalanan at ang building ay gawing ebidensiya, para isara. Kabayan…common sense lang, unahin mo muna ang Pinoy na legal, huwag kayong makialam sa mga illegal, sasabit lang kayo…