A report released Tuesday on the feasibility of housing homeless people in temporary cabins or camping sites in select Westside parks and beach parking lots — a suggestion that stoked a recall effort against Councilman Mike Bonin — recommended against such operations at four proposed locations.
The Chief Administrative Officer recommended the city not pursue tiny homes or safe camping sites at Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades, at Dockweiler State Beach in Playa del Rey, or at a privately owned lot at 5000 Beethoven Avenue in Del Rey. It also recommended against using part of the West LA Municipal Building for interim shelter.
In response, Bonin said he will not push the city to pursue any of the sites deemed “infeasible” and will instead focus on four locations where the CAO’s report recommends further assessment:
— Marina Del Rey boat launch ramp, Parking Lot #2, 13477 Fiji Way, for a tiny home village or safe sleeping site;
— a vacant lot owned by Culver City, 9415-9425 Venice Blvd., for a joint homelessness intervention with Culver City and the city of Los Angeles;
— parcels at LAX for tiny home village or safe sleeping site or safe parking, which would require consultation with the Federal Aviation Administration; and
— an RV park at Dockweiler, 12001 Vista Del Mar, Playa Del Rey, potentially for safe parking.
“To address our homelessness crisis, we can leave no stone unturned in the search for long-term housing, interim housing, or shelter,” Bonin said. “My thanks to the CAO for conducting the study and for underscoring the challenge of finding locations on the Westside. I believe very strongly that every part of the city, including the Westside, must provide solutions to homelessness, and I will keep working with neighbors to find them.”
While the CAO recommended against pursuing tiny homes and safe camping sites at Westchester Park and Mar Vista Park, it did recommend pursuing funding and resources for “Encampment to Home” programs at those locations.
Bonin’s office, with outreach teams from St. Joseph Center, conducted an “Encampment to Home” program in Venice, which brought 211 people indoors with a promise of a pathway to permanent housing.
“If the city adequately funds motel purchases or master leasing through Project Homekey, and if the city matches sufficient housing resources to Encampments to Homes, we can quickly bring thousands of people indoors, reducing the need for tiny homes and safe camping sites,” Bonin said. “That would be tremendous, tangible progress.”
Bonin requested the feasibility study of temporary housing in westside park and beach parking lots in a motion that was approved by the City Council on May 26.
Tens of thousands of people signed an online Change.org petition opposing Bonin’s motion. The petition alleged that “if the motion is approved by the City Council, people who are homeless because of drugs and mental illness will have the legal right to live in the parking lot at our public beach in Pacific Palisades.”
Bonin said Tuesday he wants the city to focus on longterm housing solutions for people experiencing homelessness in the city, and he noted that the CAO’s report shows that short-term, interim housing is expensive, especially on the westside.
“One of the big take-aways of this report is that providing long-term housing — whether it is through rental subsidies, vouchers, master leasing or shared housing — is often faster and more fiscally prudent than many emergency interventions,” Bonin said.