WAV is the first sustainable arts community in the world. The Working Artists Ventura (WAV) project is a state-of-the-art, sustainable village designed for artists and creative businesses. Located in the cultural district of downtown Ventura, California, WAV provides affordable living and working space for over one hundred artists of every kind; painters, sculptors, dancers, poets, musicians, filmmakers and more. The WAV Theater Gallery offers performances, art openings and public gatherings. Arts-friendly small businesses that are coming soon include coffee houses, galleries, cafes, wine bars and jazz clubs that will draw foot traffic and contribute to the vitality of the neighborhood.


With the community involved in every phase of development, the WAV project is filled with diverse, mixed-income families and individuals. Supportive Housing provides homes and services to those at the lowest end of the income scale. Solar-powered, ocean-view condominiums that come with a hybrid car bring higher income households to the community and help to cross-capitalize the affordable components. The entire community is designed and built to the highest standards of green building technology (seeking LEED Gold Award), including recycled building materials, car sharing, water and energy conservation, and renewable power from the sun.








The WAV project provides sixty-nine new units of affordable housing, all serving low-income artists, families and individuals from across the region. Because artists need high ceilings, plentiful light and open space, they and their families find it particularly difficult to live and work in traditional affordable housing. That’s why WAV offers fifty-four affordable units especially designed and funded for the needs of artists with families.

Fifteen of the units are designed and specially funded to provide permanent supportive housing to the region’s most economically distressed families and individuals including young people aging out of the foster care system and recently homeless families. Rents will adjust on a sliding scale, creating opportunities for people to have homes regardless of their income.

Project Understanding, a Ventura-based nonprofit, will coordinate crucial services necessary to help these households break the cycle of severe poverty and homelessness. Supportive Housing is a national movement proving to be extremely effective. The US Department of Health and Human Services reports that almost 84 percent of homeless households were still housed after one year in supportive housing, and emergency room visits were dramatically reduced saving health care costs.


A number of WAV homes are part of a family reunification effort that reunites families that have been separated by homelessness.



Smart developments provide housing opportunities for people of all incomes. Thirteen market-rate, for-sale spaces offer ocean views. The net proceeds from the sale of these units will provide nearly $2 million in cross-subsidy to the affordable spaces.


WAV integrates with the downtown community like few affordable housing projects. Not only will cultural activities draw thousands of visitors, but the WAV Theater Gallery offers opportunities for community performances, art openings and neighborhood gatherings.


WAV promotes small business development. Galleries, coffee houses, art supply stores and jazz clubs will provide jobs for our residents, promote small businesses, and contribute to the tax base and the vitality of our community.


Buildings consume sixty-seven percent of America ’s electricity, while spewing out half the nation’s greenhouse emissions. Almost half of the waste choking our landfills comes from construction. We can do better. WAV will be the first LEED Certified affordable housing project in Ventura, and only the second in the State of California. The WAV project will harness enough solar energy to actually provide electricity to the regional grid. LEED-designed buildings are healthier for the inhabitants and the environment, while conserving our precious natural resources.


The WAV project is a community-driven development effort made possible by the participation of civic and community leaders, nonprofit leaders, volunteers, business leaders, neighbors, and, of course, artists.