New downtown Los Angeles skyscraper will house Skid Row’s homeless in $600,000 housing

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) — A grand opening ceremony was held Wednesday for a high-rise building in downtown Los Angeles that will house homeless people.

There are 278 units in the 19-story development known as Weingart Tower. It is intended to help those currently homeless in Skid Row and will be the largest permanent supportive housing project in Los Angeles.

“Skid Row is a community,” Mayor Karen Bass said at Wednesday’s event. “It’s not just about disposable people. It’s a community, and bringing that community together in beautiful homes like this is what everyone deserves.”

The building will include an entire floor of offices for social workers, in addition to a list of impressive amenities: a gym, art room, music room, computer room and library. Residents will benefit from six shared balconies and a café.

It’s considered affordable housing, but the cost of building this type of project continues to add up. Each unit costs nearly $600,000 and is funded by taxpayers.

The $165 million project benefits from permanent funding from Proposition HHH, which voters overwhelmingly passed in 2016. The new tower also receives state housing funds and $56 million in tax credits from the ‘State.

Kevin Murray, president and CEO of the Weingart Center, said the goal is to keep tenants engaged.

“As many things as we can put inside the building so you don’t have the chaos that you sometimes see outside the building where people are moving to and from, you can do just about anything you want inside this building, and it’s “a regular apartment.”

Future residents present at the inauguration on Wednesday were able to discover their new accommodation for the first time.

“I really never had anything really given other than things and family,” Shannon Gresham said. “When I was homeless, I looked at it like, ‘There’s no one out there,’ it was like a little black hole, like it was just me. I went from that hole to come out of it like, ‘There’s a lot of support and love here,’ so I’m so speechless right now, I’m happy I want to see my unity.

All the units have been matched with homeless people and now that the certificate of eligibility has been signed, these tenants can move in as of Thursday.

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