LA County plans to repurpose former Motel 6 in Whittier to create new housing for homeless



WHITTIER, Calif. (KABC) -- The shell of a former Motel 6 in Whittier will soon be transformed into permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness.

"Because we're repurposing a motel rather than building from scratch, construction will be completed in half the cost of a typical affordable housing development and in about a third of the time," said Cheri Todoroff, the executive director for Los Angeles County's homeless initiative.

Los Angeles County bought the property in 2020 and used it as an emergency shelter during the pandemic.

Fourth District County Supervisor Janice Hahn envision it as a solution to the county's homeless crisis.

"When we own the motel, when we control it we can make sure that everybody who can and is willing; we can find a place for them," Hahn said.

RELATED: Newsom announces $209 million in Project Homekey state funds for new permanent housing in LA

Laurel Grove, as it's being called, will be built by Holos Communities.

It will be made up of 97 mini homes. A small park will be built and will be open to the public.

"It's a project that really proves that we can not only get people housed but we can get people housed in a way that improves surrounding communities as well," said Holos Communities board member Victoria Hunt-Weiss said.

Cristian Ahumada, CEO of Holos Communities, said the property will have sustainable features that will break down noise pollution and save water as well.

"Each building that we develop has the power to clean the air, preserve and recycle water, provide open space, address food insecurity, increase wildfire resilience and provide opportunities for economic mobility," Ahumada said.

Hahn said Laurel Grove will become a model for other cities on how to address homelessness.

"I think everyone is going to want to build a project like this after they see what we do here," she said.

The county said this future housing development will be a huge asset to the surrounding community.

They expect the first tenants to move right after the grand opening which is expected by the end of next year.

Article Date: 
Thursday, April 6, 2023