Citing an immediate need to relocated homeless persons living near freeways, the Los Angeles City Council has voted to engage with a local real estate firm to build permanent supportive housing on two empty lots in Vermont Square.
The two parcels, both of which are owned by the City of Los Angeles, sit one block west of the 110 Freeway at the intersection of 52nd Place and Figueroa Street. The smaller property, located at 5215 S. Figueroa Street, has been a vacant lot since the 1980s. The larger site, 5260 S. Figueroa Street, was most recently developed with a small medical office building and parking.
SoLa Impact, which owns and develops housing in South Los Angeles, was selected to develop the properties without a public bidding process. The motion initiating the decision, which was introduced by 9th District Councilmember Curren Price, cited a need to comply with an order from Federal Judge David O. Carter to house homeless persons living near freeways that are at an elevated risk of COVID-19.
The vote by the City Council directs the City Administrative Officer and other departments to work with SoLa Impact on exclusive negotiating and development agreements for the properties.
Under an agreement between the City and County of Los Angeles approved by Judge Carter in June, the City is responsible for creating 6,000 new shelter beds for the region's homeless population over the next 10 months - supplementing 700 beds which were already in development. The County will provide $300 million to fund essential services at the facilities over a period of five years.
Interested in finding affordable housing? Visit housing.lacity.org.