AHF Transforms Sunset Blvd. Motel into Housing for Homeless Families
PRESS CONFERENCE:
Thursday, Jan. 25th 10AM

‘Healthy Housing Foundation by AHF’ to announce its purchase of the former Sunset 8 Motel in the heart of Hollywood, which it will repurpose as transitional housing for low-income individuals and families, with priority offered to individuals with chronic health conditions.                                                           

Move follows the Foundation’s October purchase of the Madison Hotel, a 220 room SRO hotel on Skid Row in Downtown L.A. in October with plans to also prioritize that housing for those with health needs.

LOS ANGELES (January 24, 2018) On the day (and night) that Los Angeles County concludes its annual three-day count of the homeless, a group of advocates affiliated with the ‘Healthy Housing Foundation by AHF’ will host a press conference Thursday, January 25, 2018 at 10:00 AM at 6516 Sunset Boulevard (the former Sunset 8 Motel) in Hollywood to announce its acquisition of the 27-room motel[1] as well as plans to repurpose the facility as transitional housing for low-income individuals and families, with priority placement offered to individuals with chronic health conditions.

WHAT:           HOUSING PRESS CONFERENCE—Housing advocates to announce purchase and plans to repurpose Hollywood’s SUNSET 8 MOTEL, as transitional housing for low-income individuals & families, with priority offered to those with chronic health conditions.

WHEN:           Thursday, January 25, 2018         10:00 am

WHERE:        In front of:

Healthy Housing Foundation by AHF’s Sunset 8 Motel

6516 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

WHO:             Denise Weathers, Senior Director of Housing Services for the Healthy Housing Foundation by AHF

Michael Weinstein, President, AHF

Susan Hunter, L.A. Tenants Union

Damien Goodmon, Housing is a Human Right/ Costa Hawkins Repeal ballot campaign

                        And advocates & mobilizers impacted by L.A.’s housing costs and availability

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Ged Kenslea, Senior Director, Communications, AHF +1.323.308.1833 work   +1.323.791.5526 cell       [email protected]

Ileana Wachtel, Communications Director, Coalition to Preserve LA  +1.310.702.4240  [email protected]

The move is part of a community-based effort to address the exploding housing and homelessness crisis in Los Angeles. The acquisition and transformation of the Sunset 8 to transitional housing follows AHF’s purchase of the Madison Hotel[2], a 220 single-room-occupancy (SRO) hotel on Skid Row in Downtown L.A. in October 2017. Healthy Housing Foundation by AHF is renovating and upgrading the Madison as well and will also prioritize those housing units for individuals with chronic health conditions. No Madison tenants have been or will be displaced or evicted in that transition and renovation process.

“The homeless crisis in Los Angeles is a crisis, one that requires an across the board, ‘all hands on deck’ response rather than the well-intended, but sclerotic government effort we are witnessing by L.A. City Hall and County officials,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AHF.” The count, now, nearly 58,000 homeless individuals, reflects a staggering twenty-three percent increase just last year. These numbers—and more important, these faces and lives—dictate that every possible type of housing be explored and pursued: tents, tiny houses, reused city buildings and especially, old motels. As such, Healthy Housing Foundation by AHF and our partners are proud to announce the acquisition of the Sunset 8 as well as our plans to repurpose this facility into transitional housing for individuals, families and children, with a particular focus on housing those with chronic health conditions.”

UN Monitor on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights Blasts L.A. Response to Homeless Crisis                   In early December,Philip Alston, special rapporteur for the United Nations’ monitor on extreme poverty and human rights, toured L.A.’s Skid Row as part of a national tour to investigate “… whether persistent poverty undermines the human rights of the most vulnerable citizens in the United States,” and report on the U.S. homeless situation. He and the U.N. issued a pointed preliminary report on his findings a few days later. According to a Los Angeles Times article (12/15/17) on the visit and report, Alston said that, “ … political will created the hundreds of encampments that he saw lining the streets of Los Angeles, adding that the country is rich enough to end homelessness.” The paper also reported that, “’Los Angeles is lagging behind other cities in attacking its homelessness problem,’ Alston said.”

Costs of Newly-built Low-income Housing in California & in Los Angeles; also L.A.’s Trailer Plans

Los Angeles City and County officials are clearly having difficulty grappling with the scope of the homeless crisis as it continues to escalate. However, given the magnitude of the issue in L.A.—and the external scrutiny from as respected a body as the U.N.—much more must be done to adequately address the crisis. Here are some facts that officials and the community should pay attention to when addressing housing and homelessness:

  • The homeless population in Los Angeles County was found to be 57,794 people this year (2017) a 23% jump over 2016.(N.Y. Times, 9/29/17 also, page #3, “Of Interest” Sunday NYT, 10/1/17))
  • $332,000: “New affordable units in California cost an average of $332,000, which limits the amount of housing that can be built, Gov. Jerry Brown noted in a budget summary this year.”     (L.A. Times, 10/06/17—Emily Alpert Reyes)
  • $425,000: In the City of Los Angeles, the average cost of a new affordable housing unit.
  • The cost per affordable housing unit for units under Ballot Measure HHH projects is $434,000.
  • One recent affordable housing project announced in Los Angeles is $138-million project in Downtown that will provide 278 new units of affordable housing—or $496,403 per unit. 

“There is a disconnect among politicians, leaders and officials and the community when it comes to the reality of the homeless situation in Los Angeles and possible solutions. As it stands now, ‘affordable’ units simply cost too much to reasonably or effectively address the crisis we are facing,” added Weinstein. “We cannot build our way out of this heartbreak. And too many people get a piece of the pie—developers, builders, lawyers, the city treasury, in the form of fees and permits—all have a hand in the till before it trickles down to the ‘lottery winner’ of a tenant who is lucky enough to get placed in one of these photo-op flats. Nothing should cost more than $200,000 and 50% of such units should be $100,000 and below.”