By Jeff Hall
A new housing development that will provide affordable housing to low-income individuals – including some who are currently homeless – is now underway in the neighborhood.
A ground-breaking for “Missouri Place” was held Jan. 16 at the southeast corner of Missouri and Bundy, between Santa Monica Blvd. and Olympic Blvd. This is the site of the former West LA Animal Shelter.
Brentwood’s Tom Safran, whose Tom Safran & Associates firm is known for high-quality public housing projects, is the property manager. 74 units will be built on the site, which is close to parks and public transportation, including the Expo Line (the Bundy Station).
Several elected officials, including Mayor Garcetti, CD-11 Councilman Mike Bonin and California State Representative Richard Bloom, were there.
Several speakers acknowledged 74 units won’t solve the problem of homelessness in Los Angeles, but stated Missouri Place will make an important contribution.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said homelessness will be solved one individual at a time but noted 14,000 units for currently homeless individuals are now in development.
Mike Bonin noted that getting low-income housing built can be challenging because, in some neighborhoods, the opposition to such housing can become quite vocal.
This was not the case with Missouri Place, according to Bonin. He said West LA is a community that knows how to say “yes.”
He also stated having Tom Safran as the developer is a good thing: “If Tom is doing a project in your area, you know it’s going to be damned good.”
Assemblyman Richard Bloom talked about how long a journey it has been to get municipalities to do enough about housing. He was mayor of Santa Monica at one time, which has experienced persistent homelessness.
Today he is more hopeful than ever, he said.