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Saturday, July 2, 2022

This Redondo Beach Beach Motel Will Become 20 Studios for People Moving Out of the Homeless

It is a beautiful place to stay or visit.

Pacific Ocean, pizza and frozen yogurt are all easily accessible on foot. And it’s on a major metro bus line that runs through the center of South Bay’s beach towns.

716 S. in South Redondo Beach. A studio apartment on Pacific Coast Highway would be the perfect home for any single person.

But it has also become a local flashpoint amid ongoing efforts to address the regional and statewide housing crisis. That’s because plans are underway to convert the 20-unit Pacific Coast Inn into transitional housing for the homeless.

That project—construction on which is expected to begin soon, with people due out sometime this fall—is South Bay’s first motel conversion at HomeKey, funded by the California Department of Housing and Community Development Program.

Nearby South Redondo residents, however, have criticized the project for being in a valuable area and close to a school. Developers and government officials have defended the state-funded project, saying it will help people take to the streets and eventually find permanent housing.

“It’s not a shelter, not a drop, not a half house,” said Brian D’Andrea, senior vice president at developer Century Housing Corporation.

Since last year, Homekey has provided $1.4 billion in grants for cities and counties to work with private developers to convert existing properties into housing for the homeless.

During the first round of funding, state grants went mostly to Northern California. But now, with a second round earlier this year, there are a total of 18 HomeKey sites in Los Angeles County. Of those 18, the county is acting as a government agency on 11 of them. The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles is responsible for five and two separate cities make up the other two.

Money from that state funded the $6.3 million purchase of The Pacific Coast Inn. Century Housing Corporation, along with LA County, paid slightly less than the asking price for the property, which was listed for $6.6 million.

However, neighbors worry that the motel is in the heart of the community, surrounded by multimillion-dollar condos and just three blocks from Tulita Elementary School, said Mindy Kazuleger, whose parents are located near the corner on Knob Hill Avenue. live around.

And that yogurt shop, she said, is a popular hangout for kids after school.

“You don’t know what element they’re going to bring,” Czuleger said of future residents. “The rules don’t matter.”

Kazuleger, the granddaughter of Bill Kazuleger, a popular former Redondo Beach mayor, also said residents have been blindsided. More than 100 of them recently came to a community meeting and grilled councilmen Nils Nehrenheim and D’Andrea.

“We’re all taking up arms because we just didn’t know about it,” Czuleger said in an interview last week.

Redondo Beach City Council unanimously approved a statement of interest in the project during its November 9 meeting. Although the agenda specified only a South Redondo Beach location, council members knew the motel’s address, Nehrenheim said.

But the deadline for submission by the county and the developer was just three days away, on November 12. With the deadline approaching, council members said they felt they had no choice but to rubber stamp the item, Nerenheim said.

For those who want local control over housing, HomeKey is problematic. Because of its emergency nature and ties to federal coronavirus recovery funds, its projects are exempt from any environmental review.

But by HomeKey standards, the Redondo Beach project is relatively small. Some of the LA County projects have more than 100 units.

D’Andrea said the small project will give Redondo Beach residents a look at how an ongoing care situation can work to get people on the streets and into permanent housing.

And that’s the goal, D’Andrea said.

Residents of the newly dubbed Moonstone will be expected to pay rent and be respectful of neighbors. A range of ancillary services will also be available on-site to help new tenants, D’Andrea said.

Nehrenheim said he hoped Moonstone would give priority to those struggling with family ties at Redondo Beach. This could be someone who graduated from Redondo Union High School or a local veteran with PTSD who has fallen on hard times, the counselor said.

For someone sleeping in a tent or on a park bench, Nerenheim said, the Pallet Shelter in North Redondo Beach is the first stop. Then, once a Pallet resident is committed to rehabilitation and has a stable job, they will move to Moonstone’s assisted living accommodation.

“I really want people to understand that this is for veterans,” Nehrenheim said, “for people on Section 8 housing, people who have problems with domestic violence and people who are living in their cars.”

Czuleger, however, said he is concerned about the program’s ability to evict a problem tenant.

But, D’Andrea said, his company will not accept or tolerate criminal activity on its premises. If anyone crosses the border, he said, they will be evicted.

He pointed to his company’s track record as a developer/operator of Long Beach’s Century Village in Cabrillo, where 97% of its nearly 2,000 residents were still held after the one-year mark in 2020, d’ Andrea said.

D’Andrea said he understands why Redondo Beach neighbors are concerned, but asked the community to “have a little bit of faith”. He said things would be easier if his company could partner with the community.

“The fear that we will serve criminals and drug addicts is wrong,” D’Andrea said. He said, ‘Our name is associated with it. We are highly motivated to be successful here.”

World Nation News Desk
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