Westside Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky of Council District 5 and Valley Councilmember Bob Blumenfield introduced a motion at the Los Angeles City Council meeting Tuesday calling for city staff to explore the use of recreational vehicles to be used as interim housing located at three city-owned properties: The L.A. Department of Water and Power Distribution station #28 located at 11171 Nebraska Avenue, the Bel Air District Maintenance Yard located at 11165 Missouri Avenue, and the West Los Angeles Sewer Maintenance Yard at 11168 Missouri Avenue in district five which covers Bel Air, Beverly Crest, Century City, Fairfax District, Melrose, Palms, Sawtelle, and Westwood among others on the Westside.

The city would be using RVs that were previously deployed during the COVID-19 pandemic and were donated to Volunteers of America Los Angeles or other similar resources.

The proposed project, called “Cotner Community,” would be located next to the 405 Freeway. According to the proposal, the community would consist of 113 13-foot trailers designated for single occupancy, and six 18-foot trailers designated for dual occupancy, totaling 119 trailers. When full, 125 unhoused people will have shelter. Each trailer would have its own bathroom and kitchenette.

Also included would be a “Safe Parking” lot that would accommodate 20 overnight vehicles with access to porta-potties.

This area of Cotner is already used by the unhoused, who are living in cars, trucks, RVs, trailers, and tents. Several support groups already provide basic services to the individuals residing in this section of Cotner. As of September 26, approximately 20 RVs, 10 cars, and 20 tents were present on Cotner.

“Since assuming office in December 2022, Council District 5 has worked to identify and analyze credible opportunities to increase the availability of homeless housing in the district,” Yaroslavsky’s motion states, “Which remains in drastically short supply. As such, the feasibility and cost of this proposal should be fully examined.”

The motion also calls for the Bureau of Street Services, the Bureau of Sanitization, and the Department of Water and Power to report back within 45 days regarding their utilization of the properties located in this area. They must also report the feasibility of temporarily closing all or a portion of Cotner Avenue between Nebraska Avenue and the southern end of the West Los Angeles Sewer Maintenance Yard located at 1924 Cotner Avenue, as well as the projected cost to develop the site and an estimate of the annual costs to operate the site, inclusive of utility services, hygiene and sanitation facilities, security, service provision, and potential funding sources to cover these costs including an operational date.

It also calls for staff to develop a plan to engage current unhoused residents in the area to encourage them to move into the proposed community to minimize displacement into the surrounding communities.

The day-to-day operations and other services would be handled by a provider selected by the city, along with water and power lines to the trailers, waste-management services for the trailers’ sewage tanks, as well as city trash pickup.

Photo by blade_kostas from iStockphoto.com

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