Councilman Paul Koretz filed a motion Tuesday for Los Angeles to seek much lower costs in order to build tiny home communities for homeless people.

Koretz cited a recent Los Angeles Times article that stated the city could end up paying as much as $130,000 per 8-by-8 foot unit, but he said there are areas where tiny homes have been built for far less.

The Times article stated site preparation and a variety of infrastructure improvements deemed important for making the villages safer and more functional for residents was the reason for the higher costs.

The councilman cited examples of cities and counties were the cost per unit has been significantly lower for tiny homes, such as Sonoma County ($21,817 per unit); Riverside ($17,000); Tacoma, Washington ($12,000); and Santa Cruz and Seattle (less than $10,000).

“It is abundantly clear that the approach the city is taking to plan and create these tiny home villages, while generous, has the potential to inflate the cost of providing the number of beds using this methodology,” Koretz stated in his motion.

Part of a settlement to a lawsuit, Los Angeles Alliance for Human Rights v. City of Los Angeles, the city has undertaken the creation of “tiny home villages” on various sites around Los Angeles, Koretz stated.

These villages utilize “pallet shelters” made by the Pallet Company from Washington state, which are approximately 64-square-foot steel sheds with modest amenities, each of which can accommodate one or two persons experiencing homelessness, Koretz stated.

“With a short-term requirement to find or create beds for the 6,700 homeless targeted in the L.A. Alliance case during a time of scarce resources, the city should be looking for ways to fashion a more economical solution,” the motion stated.

Koretz’s motion seeks to have the city review tiny home costs that could be as little as $17,000 to $22,000 per unit. It was not immediately clear as to which council committee would first hear the motion.

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