CORRECTION: There is no plan for temporary homeless housing or a homeless shelter at Venice Boulevard and Beethoven Street. L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin has asked the city to consider co-locating permanent supportive housing at the existing disability resource center.
Permanent supportive housing combines affordable housing assistance with voluntary supportive social services. It is not temporary or emergency shelter.
“This article gets it wrong. No one is proposing temporary housing or shelter at this site. I have asked the city to examine the feasibility of co-locating permanent supportive housing with the existing disability center.
“We are talking about housing — like the PATH Ventures housing on Courtleigh Avenue in Del Rey, or the VCH apartments on Beach Avenue in Del Rey, or like the TSA housing approved for West LA, or like the proposed permanent supportive housing under consideration on Rose Avenue in Venice.
“If the city departments find that the site is feasible, then the city, DCRC, or an affordable housing developer can initiate discussions with the community about how many units it could accommodate, what population could be served, what it would look like, etc.
“The specific proposal will be created through community input and there will be ample opportunities for neighbors to engage and talk about the best way to build needed supportive housing in a way that works for the neighborhood. You can read the motion here: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2014/14-1275-S1_mot_10-09-2018.pdf .”
The Argonaut regrets the error. The original story that incorrectly describes temporary homeless housing remains below for reference purposes, as it has already circulated in the community.
Temporary homeless housing could be in the works for Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista
By Gary Walker
Less than two weeks after city transportation officials declared the divisive traffic lane reconfigurations on Venice Boulevard to be permanent, Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin’s office is eyeing a city property along the busy thoroughfare as potential temporary housing for some of Mar Vista’s unsheltered homeless.
The city owns most of the 13,000-square-foot building at 12901 Venice Blvd., on the northwest corner of the Beethoven Street intersection. The Disability Rights Center has an 11% interest in the building.
No details have been made available about how many beds the location might contain, but the building’s footprint of less than a third of an acre is more than 10 times smaller than the 3.1-acre former Metro bus yard on Main Street in Venice, where city officials are planning a temporary (or “bridge”) housing facility with 154 beds.
Last year’s annual Homeless Count tallied 178 homeless people in Mar Vista, including only four people in traditional shelters, 88 in RVs or campers, 46 in vans, 10 in cars and at least 20 sleeping on the street.
The Mar Vista temporary housing proposal won preliminary support from the L.A. City Council’s Homelessness and Poverty Committee on Jan. 16, and it’s likely to go before the full council in February. Elsewhere in the Westside council district, temporary housing for up to 100 homeless veterans is planned for the West Los Angeles VA campus, and the former West L.A. Animal Shelter is slated to become supportive housing.
Both opponents of temporary housing in Venice and critics of sacrificing traffic lanes on Venice Boulevard to install protected bike lanes and other safety measures have been relentless in their criticisms of those efforts, and Bonin could face a convergence of those campaigns in opposition to temporary homeless housing in Mar Vista.
Los Angeles Department of Transportation Director Seleta Reynolds recently told members of the Mar Vista Community Council, already divided along support for or opposition to the road diet on Venice Boulevard, that the city now considers the Great Streets and Vision Zero pilot program to be permanent.
The community council has asked Bonin for an independent traffic study and to convene a town hall about the lane reconfigurations, but the council office has yet to comment on either proposal.
Holly Tilson, the Mar Vista Community Council zone director whose area would include the planned temporary housing facility, said she’s advised a council office deputy to collect community feedback and avoid residents learning about the proposal after the fact.
The council office “needs to get out in front of this and inform at the very least the residents, schools and businesses within the area. They would like to hear more now rather than after a proposal has been developed, as has happened in several instances in Venice. Without transparency people get upset and the situation gets divisive. Hopefully, we can avoid that outcome by working together and publicly,” Tilson wrote an email.
Mar Vista resident Fred Davis hadn’t heard about the Mar Vista proposal, but he already likes it.
“I’m fully behind the idea of this and the bridge housing being proposed in Venice. The homeless problem is symptomatic of larger institutional derelictions, and as such this is really a Band-Aid. However, we have to start somewhere. So consider me a YIMBY [Yes In My Back Yard],” Davis said.
Steve Wallace, a Mar Vista homeowner of 20 years, is worried that Bonin and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti are “saturating” Venice — and now Mar Vista — with temporary homeless housing facilities.
“We understand there are a lot of homeless in Venice and Mar Vista, but you do not need to house them in the most expensive neighborhoods around. You can get 10 times more housing away from Venice and Mar Vista if the city were to look further afield,” Wallace said. “If we are going to invest in housing for the homeless population, should we not be making the best investment of our tax dollars, building the best housing for the money in the best value-for-money area?”
Davis anticipates residual animosity over the Venice Boulevard lane changes and the temporary housing going up at the former bus yard on Main Street.
“Given the disproportionate rage directed at the councilman over the Great Streets projects and the vitriol aimed at the Venice bridge housing, I fear our neighborhood will be torn further apart,” he said.