The Los Angeles City Council on Friday unanimously approved a controversial plan to build transitional housing for the homeless on a city-owned parking lot in West L.A.
The project, which was proposed by Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky, will be located at 2377 Midvale Ave., near homes and businesses along Pico and Westwood boulevards.
Friday’s 14-0 vote approved $4.6 million in funding for construction of 33 units and initial operation.
“Anyone who has walked or driven on the Westside can tell you that the increase in the number of people living in tents is alarming,” Yaroslavsky said in a statement announcing the project in August. “We cannot keep waiting for the problem to solve itself — we need real solutions that we know work, and we need them quickly.”
Opponents argue the project should have undergone a rigorous environmental review instead of being fast-tracked by the city’s Bureau of Engineering. They also question the location.
“It’s an absolute travesty of justice. This entire process has been undemocratic from start to finish,” Jonathan Ross told KTLA. “We’re not against it being built in our neighborhood … We just want to move it a few blocks away. We want to do our part to help the homeless. Just not in this particular site that directly impacts small businesses and residential families.”
One supporter told us she believes the project is warranted, in part, because the parking lot is already used by the homeless.
“I would rather see people sleeping inside than I would in the parking lot because if you went to that parking lot right now, there are people sleeping on cardboard,” said Allison Schallert.
The project is expected to open in 2024.