SRHT at a Crossroads

Mike Alvidrez, CEO of L.A.’s Skid Row Housing Trust, to step down next year

Architecture West
Longtime Skid Row Housing Trust CEO Mike Alvidrez has announced plans to step down next year. (Courtesy Michael Maltzan Architecture)
Longtime Skid Row Housing Trust CEO Mike Alvidrez has announced plans to step down next year. (Courtesy Michael Maltzan Architecture)

In an effort to reorient one of the country’s most innovative homelessness alleviation organizations around a new generation of leadership, longtime Skid Row Housing Trust (SRHT) CEO Mike Alvidrez has decided to step down from his post effective sometime next summer.

Alvidrez’s tenure with SRHT has spanned 27 years so far, with 13 of those years spent at its helm. Under Alvidrez’s stewardship, Los Angeles–based SRHT has grown to become a leader in re-housing initiatives via the implementation of the “housing first” model. Under this model, individuals are afforded permanent housing first, with other supportive services following afterward.

SRHT has implemented the model through a series of high-profile collaborations with Los Angeles area architects in an effort to bring thoughtful design to contemporary models of American social housing.

Under Alvidrez’s leadership, SRHT has won accolades for projects like the Brooks + Scarpa–designed The Six housing complex in Los Angeles. (Courtesy Tara Wucjik)

The organization has collaborated on multiple projects with Michael Maltzan Architecture, including the firm’s much-lauded prefabricated Star Apartments and most recently on the Crest Apartments in the San Fernando Valley. SRHT also recently completed work on The Six apartments, a 52-unit complex by Los Angeles–based Brooks + Scarpa aimed toward housing veterans who have previously experienced homelessness. Regarding the project, Angela Brooks of Brooks + Scarpa described how the firm emphasized the need to create a multi-layered sense of public and private space for the complex. She said, “Where’s the threshold between the neighborhood and your house? If it’s just a single line, that’s too thin. We want it to be deep with a sense of public, semi-public, and then finally private [spaces] along the way.”

In a statement announcing his planned departure, Alvidrez stated: “The public perception of supportive housing has forever changed thanks to our partnerships with renowned architects to design beautiful residential and community spaces that foster reconnection, healing, and dignity.”

Alvidrez’s announcement comes after the success a pair of SRHT-supported ballot measures aimed at increasing funding for supportive housing services in recent elections. Those initiatives—Measure HHH in the City of Los Angeles and Measure H in Los Angeles County—aim to provide funding and support for the construction of 10,000 supportive housing units, among other initiatives, a windfall that will surely impact SRHT’s initiatives moving forward.

For now, the organization is going to take its time to transition to new leadership. Alvidrez announced that SRHT will begin reviewing applicants later this year and he would stay on with the organization as an ambassador after the fact. See the SRHT website for more information.

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