CHATSWORTH (CBSLA) – Dozens of people turned out Wednesday morning both in protest and in support of a proposed homeless housing development in Chatsworth.
The 64-unit apartment complex is slated to be constructed at 10243 Topanga Canyon Blvd., just south of Devonshire Street.
A portion of it would be paid for using Proposition HHH, a $1.2 billion bond measure approved by Los Angeles city voters back in November of 2016 to fund permanent housing for the homeless.
However, residents are concerned that the building is too close to Chatsworth Park Elementary School, which is less than one block away.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the L.A. City Council Homelessness and Poverty Committee voted last week to continue moving forward with the development, which according to the paper would be the first HHH housing project in the northwestern area of the San Fernando Valley area.
L.A. officials have been aggressively searching for solutions to combat the city’s growing homeless crisis.
Earlier this month, a former Hollywood library which was re-purposed into a women’s homeless shelter which can house up to 30 women. It was the seventh shelter to open as part of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Bridge Home” program. First introduced in April 2018, a Bridge Home involves putting up about two dozen temporary homeless shelters across the city to help combat the growing homeless crisis. The first in the series opened in downtown L.A. last September. The sixth shelter, St. Andrews Place, opened Monday in the Hyde Park area of South L.A. The shelters are designed to give people a safe place to stay until they can find permanent housing.
The L.A. City Parks Commission unanimously approved placing a bridge housing shelter on the southern end of Griffith Park in Los Feliz that would house up to 100 people.
All this comes as the city council is considering putting new restrictions that would limit where the homeless can sleep overnight. A proposal would restrict people from sleeping within 500 feet of schools, parks, daycare centers, homeless shelters, bicycle paths, tunnels, or bridges on school routes.
In July, a law which prohibits homeless people from sleeping in their cars in L.A. residential areas was extended for another six months. The council also passed an ordinance this month which allows police to remove homeless people from high-risk fire-danger areas.
In July, homeless advocates filed a federal lawsuit against the city of L.A. over what they claim is the unlawful seizure and destruction of property belonging to homeless people during sweeps.