Proposal to Build Affordable Housing on Echo Park Lot Used by Nonprofit Is Criticized as ‘Trumpian’

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Luis Campos stands on a handball court used by El Centro del Pueblo in Echo Park. City officials were debating during the summer of 2019 whether to build housing for the homeless on that lot.(Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Luis Campos stands on a handball court used by El Centro del Pueblo in Echo Park. City officials were debating during the summer of 2019 whether to build housing for the homeless on that lot.(Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

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Battles over where to build housing or shelters for homeless people are nothing new at Los Angeles City Hall, which has witnessed an uproar over such plans from Koreatown to Venice.

But the latest fight is poised to split the City Council itself, as one councilman promotes a plan that another is denouncing as “Trumpian.”

The dispute centers on a city lot in Echo Park that is currently being leased by a nonprofit, El Centro del Pueblo, for recreational space, including basketball and handball courts. The lot sits alongside the group’s Echo Park building, where it provides youth and family services aimed at preventing gang violence.

Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who represents the area, wants L.A. to convert at least part of that Glendale Boulevard site into affordable housing for homeless people and seek bids from developers to remake it. City officials have argued that it is a prime spot because its zoning could allow for as many as 98 units of housing — more than other nearby sites would allow.

Read the full story at LATimes.com.

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