Homelessness: AHF discovers thousands of vacant SRO hotel rooms across LA

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LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–AHF is releasing another full-page, full-color housing promotion ad to be released this Sunday, September 11e in the Los Angeles Times. The ad titled “4,612 rooms” highlights a recent survey and tally of vacant SRO hotel rooms in Los Angeles as the area’s homelessness crisis continues to escalate with no solid or adequate solutions offered. by government and community leaders.

As part of its “Save Our SROs” advocacy campaign, Housing Is A Human Rights (HHR) has found more than 4,600 homes in Downtown Los Angeles that are vacant or awaiting construction or have been converted from low-income housing. housing for other uses. Ninety-one units of two single-room hotels were demolished. With nearly 1,500 homeless residents dying on the streets of the LA area between 2020 and 2021, LA City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti must immediately utilize all vacant buildings that can provide low-income and homeless housing. .

In August, Housing Is A Human Right, the housing advocacy division of AHF, launched a time-consuming survey of the number of vacant units in single-room hotels (SROs) in downtown Los Angeles and Westlake, a neighborhood near downtown. At the same time, Housing Is A Human Right, the housing advocacy division of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, ran prominent advertisements in the Los Angeles Timeshighlighting vacant SROs such as Hotel Cecil, Hotel Clark and Hotel Embassy.

Housing is a Human Right surveyed 52 buildings in Downtown and Westlake, visiting many in person to confirm their status as vacant or converted to other uses such as market-priced housing. The results are shocking:

  1. 3,868 SRO units in 25 buildings are vacant or have been converted to other uses. Ninety-one SRO units in two buildings were demolished. (Three of those 25 buildings were vacant when the AIDS Healthcare Foundation recently purchased them for use as low-income and homeless housing — a concrete example of how vacant ORS can be put to use.)

  2. In addition, Chetrit Group, a controversial New York-based developer that owns the vacant Clark and Embassy hotels, has the rights to build 537 units in a 42-story skyscraper known as 611 Place in downtown THE. The building, however, stood empty for years.

  3. Also downtown, The Standard Hotel, which has 207 rooms, has been vacant for nearly a year. As Los Angeles’ homelessness crisis turns into a deadly humanitarian disaster, Los Angeles City Hall can take emergency action to use 611 Place and The Standard Hotel for low-income and homeless housing.

The Housing Is A Human Right survey also found that many of Los Angeles’ largest SROs are vacant — buildings that can be used right now to house low-income and homeless residents. They include the Clark Hotel (500 units), the Cecil Hotel (615 units), the Embassy Hotel (330 units), the Morrison Hotel (111 units) and the Holland Hotel (75 units). The list of vacant or demolished or converted units can be found here.

“It’s outrageous that ORS in Los Angeles sits vacant while homeless residents are literally dying on the streets,” says Susie Shannon, Policy Director of Housing Is A Human Right. “This is a public health emergency that demands quick and bold action. We urge the Los Angeles City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti to use adaptive reuse of vacant buildings and quickly turn them into housing for people low-income and homeless. People’s lives are at stake.”

AIDS Healthcare Foundation has already taken this kind of decisive action. Since 2018, AHF has purchased 13 hotels or motels in the LA area, renovated them, and created more than 1,400 low-income and homeless housing units. AHF plans to build thousands more units in the coming years. Healthy Housing Foundation, the housing provider division of AHF, manages the properties.

AHF’s adaptive reuse of existing hotels or motels has been cost effective and timely – unlike the efforts of the City of Los Angeles. Through a bond measures program, LA City Hall is disbursing $600,000 per unit for new affordable, homeless housing, and it’s taken years to build.

AHF, on the other hand, has spent between $36,000 and $170,000 per unit buying ORS, renovating them, and turning them into housing for low-income and homeless people — and those projects are completed in month, not years.

By spending less money and time, more housing for low-income and homeless people can be built faster, which means more people are housed more urgently. In other words, adaptive reuse will save lives.

AIDS Health Foundation (AHF), the world’s largest AIDS service organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 1.6 million people in 45 countries around the world in the United States, Africa, Latin America /Caribbean, Asia/Pacific and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth, follow us @aidshealthcare or subscribe to our AHF podcast “AHFter Hours”.

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