LOS ANGELES – Churches own 20% of land in the United States. With the housing crisis far from resolved, underutilized spaces, vacant land, and empty parking lots owned by Churches seem like the perfect opportunity to increase our housing supply. However, with costs to build skyrocketing, making development feasible is not as simple as it may seem. In addition, many sites are deemed unattractive for development based on zoning constraints– even if they are in areas that need housing.
LOGOS Development partners with churches to create housing on their underutilized land. Dozens of denominations and churches are working with LOGOS across the nation seeking ways to create revenue at a time when many houses of worship are facing declining resources in communities that need more services and more housing.
“Faith-based landowners deserve to reap the benefits of their land, even if their site is smaller than what they have been told is suitable for development,” said Pastor Martin Porter, Managing Partner of Logos Faith Development. “We are here to find all churches a solution, big or small.”
Typically, affordable housing projects are built on sites that are zoned to allow 50+ units. However, for church properties on smaller lots, whose zoning doesn’t allow large builds, there may be times when only a limited number of units are able to be built. Where other developers rejected the opportunity to build on this “less profitable” church-owned land, LOGOS was determined to find a housing solution.
When LOGOS connected with LifeArk, that solution finally became a reality. LifeArk is a pre-fabricated, modular manufacturer utilizing plastic as a load-bearing structural building material. LifeArk modules are manufactured using part post-consumer recycled plastics in the raw material and is certified by California’s Housing and Community Development (HCD) Factory-Built Housing Program. It is also certified by IAPMO-UES as a new building material that meets International and California Building and Residential Codes.
In a unique and groundbreaking strategic collaboration with LifeArk, LOGOS is now bringing this affordable building system to church-owned properties throughout California and all of the United States.
This is an exciting solution that many small churches have been looking for. With voucher-based efficiency units, these projects will be able to house many more people than traditional market-rate duplexes (commonly built on many low-density parcels).
“Once the LOGOS-LifeArk modules have been built, they are then transported to the building site and installed on a pre-built foundation and assembled with forklifts,” said Jonathon Dilworth, Development Partner with Logos Faith Development. “Due to the efficiency, this type of development significantly reduces costs, time, and wasted materials compared to traditional construction.”
One example is the Greater New St. Matthews Baptist Church in Los Angeles and its Senior Pastor, Bishop Lovester Adams. After his experience working with LOGOS, Bishop Adams has become a partner in this mission to create development solutions for church partners in lower-density zones.
“For years our Church’s parking lot has been sitting there, underutilized,” says Bishop Adams, Sr. Development Associate, Logos Faith Development. “And now, we are blessed with this wonderful opportunity to provide housing in our community. I am proud to partner with LOGOS to help other churches do the same.”
LOGOS is thrilled to bring churches the LOGOS-LifeArk model. A modern solution through an alternative approach to development, this model empowers churches to provide their communities with more affordable housing while helping them monetize their land to keep their ministries alive.
“We believe we have found the right combination of small to large housing models that will help almost every church realize its mission and vision by utilizing this partnership to move from idea to reality,” said Chris Jordan, Sr. Business Development Associate, Logos Faith Development.
While being a unique solution for churches, the LOGOS-LifeArk building model has immense potential to make a large impact for the greater construction industry.
The affordability of the LOGOS – LifeArk model starts with affordable construction, enables the creation of affordable housing, and therefore helps us improve lives. This model will help facilitate positive change in the construction industry, for our churches, and for our communities.
“Our goal is to find real-estate solutions that work for both the community and our land partners: the land-rich, cash-poor churches who need an income stream if they want to stay alive as anchors in their local neighborhoods,” said Samantha Lewin, VP of Development, Logos Faith Development.