Downtown LA’s infamous Hotel Cecil could provide housing for the homeless – NBC Los Angeles

What there is to know

  • The hotel, a historic building that has fascinated the public with its sordid past, was converted into an affordable housing complex last December, but six months later only 73 of the 600 available units are occupied.
  • The facility, which was acquired by Simon Baron Development and is operated by the Skid Row Housing Trust, includes a secure entrance, community kitchen, laundry room, recreation room and on-site case management services provided by SRHT Health and Social Services.
  • People are eligible for Cecil Hotel units if they earn between 30% and 60% of the region’s median income, but most units are designated for people earning 30% or less.

The infamous and historic Hotel Cecil in downtown Los Angeles could provide temporary housing for homeless people thanks to a motion introduced Thursday.

The hotel, a historic building that has fascinated the public with its sordid past, was converted into an affordable housing complex last December, but six months later only 73 of the 600 available units are occupied.

The motion, put forward by council members Kevin de León and Bob Blumenfield, asks various city agencies to provide a report outlining a hotel accommodation program through its voucher program.

“Given the dire need to address homelessness in the city, including in Skid Row, the city should assess and define a potential program with Hotel Cecil to create temporary housing for the homeless,” indicates the motion.

The proposed master lease between the city and the hotel would include “different scenarios for providing services to homeless people and for managing and funding the units.” These scenarios could include providing residents with vouchers for
subsidize their leases.

“This is an emergency,” Susie Shannon, policy director for Housing is a Human Right, told the City News Service. “And we can’t afford to keep vacant homes here. We can’t afford to let them fall into disrepair. We can’t afford to convert them to luxury.”

The facility, which was acquired by Simon Baron Development and is operated by the Skid Row Housing Trust, includes a secure entrance, community kitchen, laundry room, recreation room and on-site case management services provided by SRHT Health and Social Services.

People are eligible for Cecil Hotel units if they earn between 30% and 60% of the region’s median income, but most units are designated for people earning 30% or less.

Surveillance video shows Elisa Lam acting strangely in a downtown Los Angeles hotel elevator shortly before the 21-year-old disappeared in 2013. Gordon Tokumatsu reports from Hotel Cecil for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on February 14, 2013.

“Unlike other affordable and permanent supportive housing developments, this project has been funded and will operate on its own with private capital,” said Matt Baron, CEO of Simon Baron Development. “We are really excited to bring this solution to the growing number of people who are suffering on the streets and need shelter.”

Public fascination with the Hotel Cecil and the mysteries surrounding it was recently rekindled after the death in 2013 of a 21-year-old Canadian student, Elisa Lam, who was staying at the renamed Stay on Main hotel before to be reported missing and eventually found in the rooftop water tank.

The hotel was the subject of a 2021 Netflix documentary series, titled “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel”, which explored Lam’s death, as well as other dark periods in the history of the hotel.

In 2017, the Los Angeles City Council designated the 1924 building a Historic-Cultural Landmark, calling it “a representative example of the early 20th-century American hospitality industry” and “an example of commercial architecture from Beaux-Arts style.

“Located on Main Street, two blocks east of Broadway and one block east of Spring Street, the Hotel Cecil was once advertised as ‘convenient to rail and ferry terminals’ and represents a growing trend in the early 20th century to develop hotels close to urban and commercial hubs as opposed to idyllic rural resorts,” said the Los Angeles Department of Planning’s recommendation report for designation.

It also notes that the property retains “a high level of integrity of location, design, materials, setting, craftsmanship and ambience”, despite changes made over the years to the site. inside and outside buildings.

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