Letter from SPA6 Homeless Coalition in Support of Lorena Plaza Project

 

August 14, 2017

 Chair Jose Huizar and Members of the Planning & Land Use Management Committee (PLUM)
City of Los Angeles
200 N. Spring Street, Room 360
Los Angeles, CA  90012

c/o City Clerk

 RE:     C.F. 16-0503 – Lorena Plaza project

 Dear Chairman Huizar and Members of the PLUM Committee:

 We are writing in support of the Lorena Plaza project, 3407 E. First Street, Los Angeles, 90063, and to urge the Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM) to deny the CEQA appeal filed by El Mercado.

 The SPA6 Homeless Coalition, formed in 2012, unites more than thirty homeless service providers, faith-based organizations that work with the homeless, and city and county agencies that work with the homeless in the County’s Service Planning Area 6. SPA6 runs from the 10 Freeway south to include Compton, Paramount, and Lynwood. It has the second-largest concentration of homeless in the county after SPA4, which includes Skid Row. We are desperately in need here of new projects to house the homeless and those about to become homeless. A negative decision on this Boyle Heights property by the city will empower and encourage NIMBYism throughout Los Angeles County.

 While the citizens of Los Angeles showed generous concern for the 58,000 homeless here by passing Proposition HHH to build 10,000 units of permanent supportive housing, it seems that business and homeowners do not want those units in their neighborhoods. We saw this in Venice, when community opposition prevented the reuse of a vacant senior center merely for homeless storage.

 If the PLUM Committee gives in to business and homeowner opposition to low-income and homeless housing, the admirable and sorely needed goals of Proposition HHH will never be met. We will be worse off a decade hence than we are now.

The proposed 49-unit Lorena Plaza project will help Los Angeles address the homeless crisis the City is experiencing.  Half of the apartments will also be dedicated for veterans and their families.

 Testimony in opposition to the project raised objections that will face virtually every homeless housing project: the fear of “putting our children at risk,” that housed formerly homeless people will threaten the livelihood of nearby businesses such as the next door El Mercado. If those objections are given weight, or allowed to stand hidden behind the current appeal to CEQA, only industrial districts will remain for potential sites, places that are inhumane and impractical because of the lack of grocery stores and adequate transportation.

 As you know this project is similar in size to many other affordable housing projects in the City of Los Angeles which also received mitigated negative declarations.  The issues identified in the CEQA appeal are not significant enough to require more than this determination.  The appellant has also consistently raised issues related to the mental health status of the proposed tenants, belying their true opposition.  We urge you to deny the appeal and allow the project to proceed.

Sincerely,

Jonathan Thompson

Chair

 

 

Meetings


St. Joseph Center/First To Serve, Broadway Manchester Access Center, 8525 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90003

The SPA6 Homeless Coalition meets usually on the second Friday of every month. Our regular meetings are held from 10:00 to 12:00 pm at the St. Joseph Center/First To Serve offices at 8525 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90003. Quarterly the meetings are held jointly with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. at a location to be announced. 

Our next meeting will be on Friday, March 13, 2020, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. St. Joseph Center/First To Serve, Broadway Manchester Access Center, 8525 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90003. NOTE: Parking previously had been at the parking lot two doors north of the meeting place on the same side of the street. This parking lot is now dedicated to ten house trailers for homeless families. So come a little early to find street parking.

 

Phoenix Hall, 10950 S. Central Avenue,  Los Angeles, CA 90059. It is at the back of the parking lot.