Get updates delivered to you daily. Free and customizable.
LA close to buying 1st hotel to house the homeless as Mayor Karen Bass signs $13 billion city budget
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass on Friday signed the city's $13 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which is expected to grow the size of the Los Angeles Police Department and contains a $1.3 billion investment in homelessness. The budget also tackles one of the biggest issues that has slowed down housing of the homeless: the shortage and high cost of temporary housing. "We've learned a lot over these few months," Bass said. "We're in the process of evaluating everything now to figure out how we move forward in a better way, but a lot of the money will go toward motel master leasing and renting." The city is currently in the process of trying to buy the Mayfair Hotel in L.A.'s Westlake District - which includes 300 rooms - because renting motel rooms from existing properties isn't sustainable. The real estate site LoopNet lists the hotel as "under contract" for a price of $70 million. We don't know if the city paid that exact price. Bass said she expects the deal to close in the coming months. The motel was part of Project Roomkey during the pandemic, but is now vacant. The unhoused will be able to live at the Mayfair Hotel for up to one year as they receive on-site services to get to a place where they are ready for permanent housing. "Here, the system is very complicated for them to earn money and everything so we have to help them of course," said Juliette Delmas, who lives in the Westlake District. She recently moved there and said she supports the project. Purvery Severin has lived in the Westlake District for nine years and said he wants to help the unhoused, but is worried about his neighborhood. "It's the drug situation," he said. "The drug behavior. It brings the neighborhood down. Keep our community in consideration, too."