LOS ANGELES — As this city tries to cope with thousands of people living on the streets, a few homeless and low-income senior citizens will be luckier than most next year.
They will receive keys to one of 72 new apartments,complete with a fitness center, in the heart of trendy Koreatown, built at a projected cost of $690,692 for each unit, according to the city controller's office. Two additional projects in the pre-approval phase are expected to top $700,000 per unit in total costs.
"This kind of cost is utterly unacceptable," Controller Ron Galperin said. "I believe we need a fundamental course correction."
Despite a booming national economy, homeless people have set up tents in makeshift encampments in major cities on the West Coast amid a housing shortage that has driven up rents to unaffordable levels.
In Los Angeles, the tents are spread out on sidewalks across the city, the homeless emboldened by a court ruling that allows them to live outside if no shelter space is available. Making matters worse, many live in filthy, third-world conditions without basic necessities like toilets and sinks. It makes them and those who venture near susceptible to disease.