Jordan Downs

A community-driven process helps to build a better Jordan Downs

"We want to do this with the understanding that the key to success in this community is the people in it. The human capital in this community is going to drive whatever we do here. It's not just about buildings... it starts first and foremost with people"

-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa





Jordan Downs Redevelopment Overview

Jordan Downs, home to almost 2,400 residents, is one of the largest public housing sites in Los Angeles and the epicenter of many of KPI’s current programs. The site in Watts is slated for redevelopment in the upcoming years. The aging apartments and community center will be replaced with new mixed-use, mixed-income housing, a resource center and a retail plaza that will benefit the entire community. But as one resident stated: “Before any building is started, we need to start building the people, or it won’t matter what the place looks like.” KPI is dedicated to helping build up the potential of public housing residents.

More than Bricks and Mortar

Alongside the new parks, homes and jobs the redevelopment will create, we are making strides to invest in and develop the current human capital in Jordan Downs. This human capital based “Family First” plan is a comprehensive strategy that enhances each family’s resources and in turn, their quality of life.

Developed after extensive household surveys, this Human Capital plan is tailored to the needs of the Jordan Downs’ residents

  • Access to jobs and job training

  • Youth programs

  • Adult literacy (High School Equivalency, ESL, SSL)

  • Childcare

  • Computer training

Residents also identified the following programs and services for the largest demographic in the community, young people:

  • Gang prevention programs

  • Job training

  • After school programs

  • Arts and cultural programs

  • Youth mentoring and leadership

The Need

Of our almost 2,400 residents:

  • Half of the residents are under 18 years old, 26% are between the ages of six and thirteen

  • The high school dropout rate is 67%

  • Sixty-six percent (66%) of non elderly adults are unemployed

  • The median household income is $14,597 annually, 70% less than the average for the City of Los Angeles.

  • Although violence is decreasing, 86% of residents believe crime remains a major problem in the neighborhood.

  • Due to the abundance of fast food restaurants surrounding Jordan, and limited availability of useable spaces for physical activity, 26.5% of teens and 34.4% of adults are obese

The Value of Community Voice

Understanding that community involvement is critical to the redevelopment process, the Jordan Downs Community Advisory Committee (JDCAC) was established in 2008 to promote transparency and communication. Comprised of Jordan Downs residents and stakeholders, the JDCAC is the primary group that provides input and is actively involved in all stages of the redevelopment process. The JDCAC played an active role in the selection of the master developer as well as the development of the Community-Based Master Plan. To deepen this community input, JDCAC members participate in leadership training and community activities.

Since 2010, JDCAC members have participated in leadership training and community activities. The members also played an active role in the selection of developers and assisted in the creation of community newsletters and other outreach materials. The members include representatives from these groups and more:

  • Watts Neighborhood Council

  • Watts Gang Task Force

  • Watt Century Latino Organization


  • Youth residents

  • Community Redevelopment Agency

  • Senior citizen representative, and

  • Local pastors


As members of the Community Advisory Committee we are committed to use the redevelopment process to transform Jordan Downs. We envision a safe, attractive, sustainable, multi-use, mixed-income community that provides opportunities for residents and their families to learn, play, work and thrive.

We believe the redevelopment plans must provide resources to strengthen our community and include social programs, health and recreational services, retail shopping, youth development, strong local schools and senior citizen services.

We see the redevelopment process as an opportunity to strengthen the communication and trust among all races and ethnicities of our Jordan Downs community.

Outcomes and Evaluation

The University of Southern California is partnering to implement a comprehensive evaluation of Family First to gauge effectiveness of interventions.

The Jordan Downs Redevelopment Plan has won numerous awards including:

  • Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) Compass Blueprint Award for livability.

  • SCAG Compass Blueprint Sustainability Demonstration Project

  • U.S. Green Building Council's Affordable Green Neighborhoods Award


If you are interested in supporting us with our efforts in creating a sustainable life-style for our youth, please click on the donate button below.