L.A. housing costs for homeless rose to $531,000 a unit, controller’s report says

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A 49-unit project for homeless and disabled veterans under construction in Lake View Terrace has hit a construction cost of $739,000 a unit.(Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times)

A 49-unit project for homeless and disabled veterans under construction in Lake View Terrace has hit a construction cost of $739,000 a unit.(Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times)

The average cost of building a single unit of housing for the homeless in Los Angeles has risen to $531,000, according to an audit from the city controller, who recommends that L.A. rehab motels and open dormitory-style buildings to save money and get people off the streets quickly.

Controller Ron Galperin, in a report due Wednesday, also cited two projects whose costs soared to nearly $750,0000 per unit and assailed delays that he said have driven city-funded homeless construction expenses up from initial projections of $350,000 a unit.

Nearly four years after voters approved Proposition HHH, only three projects have opened, construction has not started on three-quarters of the planned units, and many projects may “never come to fruition,” said Galperin, adding that the delays began before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We can and must do better,” Galperin said in a phone interview Tuesday. His suggestions include interim housing and shelters instead of new construction.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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