A nonprofit housing organization Thursday inaugurated a 23-unit residence in Hollywood for low-income people living with HIV.
The Argyle Court Apartments, built in 1921, was vacant and used as a drug den before it was taken over by the Hollywood Community Housing Corp., director Christina Duncan said.
The group spent $500,000 renovating the building, which includes a computer room, community room, laundry room, front porch and garden.
"People with AIDS shouldn't have to constantly worry about becoming homeless because they can't afford housing," Duncan said.
Monthly rent is based on 30% of the residents' income, which for the average tenant is $620 a month.
For 32-year-old Philip Barbour, who said he has been HIV-positive for 12 years, the subsidy allowed him to live independently for the first time in his life.
"I'm still struck by the whole thing," said Barbour, surveying his neatly decorated apartment. "I didn't realize it was going to be this nice."