L.A. City Council Committee Approves Fashion District Bridge Housing

This downtown warehouse is planned to be partially converted to host 115 emergency beds to house area homeless. Photo via Google street view
This downtown warehouse is planned to be partially converted to host 115 emergency beds to house area homeless. Photo via Google street view

This afternoon the L.A. City Council Homelessness and Poverty Committee unanimously approved developing bridge housing at 1426 Paloma Street – near where Central Avenue intersects the 10 Freeway in the eastern end of the downtown L.A. Fashion District, south of L.A.’s Skid Row.

The site is a privately-owned industrial warehouse, whose owner approached the county to see if it could serve as homeless housing. Clothing business operations will continue on part of the site. The city will lease another a portion of it to house approximately 115 emergency shelter beds with services.

The bridge housing is a joint city-county effort championed by City Councilmember José Huizar and County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Site services will be managed by the nonprofit Home At Last.

Layout planned for 1426 Paloma bridge housing - image via Home at Last
Layout planned for 1426 Paloma bridge housing – image via Home At Last

Huizar deputy Martin Schlageter presented the project to the committee, which included Councilmembers Mitch O’Farrell, Monica Rodriguez, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, and David Ryu. Schlageter emphasized the need for shelter and services in the project vicinity, where recent homeless counts found nearly 600 people living un-housed, evidence of the clear need for the mayor’s A Bridge Home emergency housing with wrap-around services.

Schlageter recounted that the project was the subject of two community meetings, where some nearby businesses raised concerns. At today’s committee meeting there was a great deal of public support for the project, with about twenty public comments in favor and only one comment against. Even that speaker said that local businesses were concerned about transparency and accountability, not necessarily the proposed housing itself. Organizations expressing support included the Central City Association, Inner City Law Center, Downtown Women’s Center, United Way Everyone In, and the Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing.

There was very little discussion among the committee members, who generally will defer to the local councilmember for projects in their district. The committee approved the project’s environmental clearance as well as a pair of motions (council files 19-0106 and 15-1138-S37) outlining leasing and funding specifics.

The proposal next goes to the full L.A. City Council, likely in about a week. After council approval, the site is anticipated to be operational in about three months. It will likely be the third operational bridge housing facility operating in L.A., and the second in Huizar’s district. The mayor and council have committed to at least one bridge housing in each of the fifteen council districts, but neighborhood opposition has made projects difficult to complete.

Update 2/26: The Paloma bridge housing was approved by the full city council this morning.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Mobility Plan Re-Approval Passes Joint Council Committee Meeting

|
The city of Los Angeles’ progressive Mobility Plan 2035 was re-affirmed yesterday at a joint meeting of the City Council Transportation and Planning Committees. In August, the plan was approved on a 12-2 vote of the L.A. City Council. Under the scrutiny of a lawsuit challenge, the city is in the process of removing some allegedly […]

L.A. City Council Approves New Mobility Plan, Including Vision Zero

|
After a lengthy and contentious debate, the full Los Angeles City Council approved the city’s new Mobility Plan, the Transportation Element of the city’s General Plan. Mobility Plan 2035 replaces the city’s former transportation plan in effect since 1999. The final vote was 12 in favor, with only Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Gil Cedillo opposing. The approved […]
Councilmember Paul Koretz claimed S.B. 827 would "destroy the city" Tuesday at a hearing for a resolution to oppose the bill.

Los Angeles City Council Votes Unanimously to Oppose S.B. 827

|
The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Tuesday morning for a resolution opposing State Senate Bill (S.B.) 827, the bill authored by State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) that would override local zoning near transit to allow for denser housing. The resolution — introduced by Councilmembers David Ryu and Herb Wesson — is just the […]

2014 Streetsies: Elected Official of the Year

|
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s Streetsie voting time! This year, we’re going to spread out the Streetsie voting over a couple of weeks, with some of the voting going live today and tomorrow and some of it going live next week. Voting will close on Friday, January 2, 2015 at noon. […]