HomeNewsLocal19-Story Tower for Homeless Housing Set to Open in Skid Row

19-Story Tower for Homeless Housing Set to Open in Skid Row

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A 19-story high-rise apartment building will soon provide shelter for unhoused residents in Skid Row, and Thursday a plan is in place to offer employment and education assistance, and finance, health and wellness classes for those residents.

Elected officials and developer Weingart Center celebrated the grand opening of the complex in a ceremony Wednesday morning. It will have 228 studios, 50 fully furnished one-bedroom apartments, a fitness center, computer lab, laundry facilities, a music room and more. About 40 of these income-based units are reserved for veterans.

The development, called Weingart Tower 1, will also provide services such as assistance with employment and education, counseling on finances and budgeting, as well as health and wellness classes.

“This is not just a building,” Kevin Murray, a retired state senator and CEO of Weingart Center, said during the ceremony. “This is about people and this is about giving people dignity … everybody deserves a good, well-designed environment.”

Residents are expected to start moving in at the end of July, according to the center.

L.A. Mayor Karen Bass noted the project came before she was elected, but the development did benefit from her Executive No. 1, which streamlines and fast tracks affordable housing projects such as the Weingart Tower 1.

The $165 million project received funding from Proposition HHH — approved by voters in 2016 to support housing projects — and $56 million in state tax credits. Each unit cost just under $600,000.

According to a report in 2022 from L.A. City Controller Kenneth Mejia, housing projects funded with Prop HHH have cost between $450,000 to nearly $837,000 per unit. Overall, the city has spent more than $1.1 billion in HHH funding toward housing projects.

Part of the center’s goals is to change the landscape of Skid Row and create a beacon of hope, Murray said.

Two more towers — a total of 406 more units — are slated to open within the next four to five years.

Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, was critical of the multi-million complex.

“Voters in Los Angeles approved Measure HHH, $1.2 billion of borrowed money, to build 10,000 units of housing for the chronically homeless, but at $600,000 a unit, the main beneficiaries are politically connected developers and consultants,” Coupal said in a statement to City News Service. “This level of per-unit spending is completely unsustainable, leading to demands for more bonds and more tax increases.”

He also mentioned how the city of Los Angeles is being ordered by a federal judge to audit its homelessness programs and spending.

“Voters should say no to higher taxes and more borrowing until elected officials answer hard questions about where the money has gone and why the problem is only getting worse,” Coupal said in his statement.

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