The Los Angeles City Council Wednesday directed the City Administrative Office to reevaluate sites that were deemed ineligible for homeless housing after being identified for that use by Councilman Paul Koretz’ office.
“This motion was first introduced after more than 70 potential homeless housing sites were brought to the attention of the CAO’s office by Council District 5 and all of them were rejected time and again,” Koretz told his council colleagues.
“In some instances we were told the sites were too small, that too much infrastructure would need to be built, or that it wouldn’t serve as many people as it should,” he said. “But I have yet to identify a metric, a methodology or a cost-benefit standard for what these proposed sites should look like, and if there is one, I would need to call it into serious question because I’m not sure we can quantify the crisis or the value of the lives at the center of it.”
CAO Richard Llewellyn could not immediately be reached for a response.
The approved motion directs the CEO to reevaluate the following proposals:
— interim housing at 10755 Venice Blvd.;
— interim housing in a former care facility for the elderly at 8755 W. Olympic Blvd.;
— interim housing in a building at 200 S. La Brea Ave.;
— tiny homes, safe parking or safe camping at a Culver City-owned site at 9413-9431 Venice Blvd.;
— interim housing, safe camping or tiny homes at 2352 S. Sepulveda Blvd.; and
— tiny homes or safe camping at 8765 Burton Way.
The sites are among dozens that were turned down by the CAO’s office after being proposed by Koretz’ office.
During the City Council’s June 16 vote to confirm Matt Szabo to replace Llewellyn, who is retiring, Koretz asked Szabo to have the CAO’s office re-review the sites, prompting Councilman Gil Cedillo to ask Szabo if cultural changes should be made within the office “so that we don’t have the scenario where 60 sites are turned down.”
Szabo responded that he would evaluate the office’s structure and make improvements if he finds areas that they need to be made.
In his motion, Koretz called on the city to be more flexible in determining the feasibility of sites in order for the city to meet the amount of supply needed to house and shelter the unhoused population.
“If (Council District 5) is to provide more sites for housing and sheltering persons experiencing homelessness, the city will have to employ more flexibility in how it determines site suitability and cost effectiveness than it has over the last year since the L.A. Alliance case became a factor in determining a course of action,” the motion reads. “Alternative sizes and shapes of properties and a willingness to realistically address the Westside’s property costs must play a larger role in determining what constitutes eligibility for serious consideration or progress will continue to be unsatisfactory.”