Locals Vehemently Oppose Venice Beach Homeless Housing

The controversies about homelessness in what was once a beach community full of hippies and surfers has boiled over in response to a large proposed development of supportive housing on a surface parking lot owned by the city.

July 14, 2021, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Homeless encampments on the Venice Beach Ocean Front Walk.

Luis A Chavez / Shutterstock

In June, Planetizen picked up news of an innovative new supportive housing project in Los Angeles. The project was designed by Eric Owen Moss Architects, a world renowned but locally based architecture firm, to bridge the Venice Canals and provide housing in one of the most affluent and historic parts of the city.

Fast forward to July, and Alissa Walker is reporting for Curbed about the less-than-favorable response for the project among local residents—in a neighborhood embroiled in an ongoing controversy involving City Council recalls and the county's controversial sheriff. A small group of local homeowners is planning to sue to stop the development, according to Walker, "hoping to contest the legality of a state law that allows affordable housing projects to skip environmental review."

According to Walker, opponents believe the project to be evidence of the city's plans to turn Venice into a "homeless containment zone." They would prefer a 43,000-square-foot, 600-space parking garage to be built on the lot instead.

Meanwhile, an estimated 2,000 people experiencing homelessness live on the streets of the neighborhood—the highest density homeless population outside of Skid Row adjacent to Downtown.  The latest controversies about what to do about the large homeless population are detailed in the source article by Walker.

A separate article by Steven Sharp from May also provides details on the proposed project, including the latest renderings. Sharp first broke the news about the planned development in December 2018.

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