There is no plan to build temporary housing for the homeless at Venice and Beethoven

A news story in last week’s edition titled “Beds on the Boulevard” incorrectly reported that temporary homeless housing could be in the works for a property at Venice Boulevard and Beethoven Street in Mar Vista.

And that’s not just inaccurate, it’s flat-out untrue. We misinterpreted and failed to more diligently verify the limited information that was available to us at the time, amplifying misinformation rather than nipping it in the bud.

Considering the very strong reactions to the temporary homeless housing slated for the former Metro bus yard in Venice — in some instances, flat-out rage — spreading such misinformation not only hinders pro-
ductive public debate, it’s antithetical to The Argonaut’s mission. Tying the equally divisive reconfiguration of Venice Boulevard into our narrative only made it worse.

We apologize to the residents of Mar Vista for unintentionally sharing bad information, to L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin and his office staff for crediting them with a plan that doesn’t exist, and to the nonprofit Disability Community Resource Center because it was the fate of their headquarters we were discussing.

After receiving complaints from Bonin and the DCRC, we immediately corrected the story online and met with DCRC Executive Director TJ Hill and board member Chris Knauf to find out what’s really going on.

The DCRC, formerly known as the Westside Center for Independent Living, began 43 years ago as one of the world’s first independent living centers and remains on the front lines of ensuring access rights, preventing marginalization and facilitating the independence of a client base that stretches from Malibu to San Pedro to West Hollywood.

DCRC’s Mar Vista headquarters delivers many essential services, including assistive technology instruction, accessible housing advocacy, job placement and training, and peer-led counseling and support groups.

Hill explained during our meeting that the DCRC is in the early stages of exploring a possible redevelopment of its headquarters. Ideas include remodeling workspaces to incorporate the most advanced accessibility technology and adding a supportive housing component that would serve as a global model for 100% accessible living spaces.

The council office did not approach DCRC about housing, Hill said. The DCRC approached the council office to request a feasibility analysis of what sorts of redevelopment would be possible — and if that includes housing, how much of it should be built and whom it should serve (such as families, independent adults, seniors, or a mix of various populations). Results of the study are probably months away, and nothing moves forward until it is completed, Hill emphasized.

We’re not thrilled to admit we fell short, but we’re never too proud to set the record straight. And now that we know, we think the ideas coming out of the DCRC are pretty exciting.