Long Beach finds new location to house tiny homes; Completion date pushed to 2025 • Long Beach Post News
Long Beach officials said they are now looking to install a 33-unit tiny home village on city-owned property near Willow Springs Park, but it may not open until 2025, delaying an already delayed shelter project.
The project includes individual prefabricated units that include air conditioning, individual restrooms and fire suppression systems, and six of the units are slightly larger to accommodate people with disabilities, according to a memo issued by the city Thursday night.
The city had originally planned to build the shelter in the parking lot of its multi-service center on the West Side, where most homeless services are provided, but was forced to find a new location because of a nearby rail project being built by the Port of Long Beach.
The city said in late September that the rail project would create too many quality-of-life issues for tiny house residents because the facility is expected to operate 24 hours a day with significant noise and emissions.
City officials originally expected the tiny homes to open next October, but the new timeline could push that back until “early 2025,” according to the memo.
The new site, located at the southeast corner of Spring Street and California Street, still needs approval from the state — which is funding construction — before any units can be installed.
“While the city team feels strongly that this is the best location available for this project, full implementation of the project will depend on state review and final approval of the new location,” City Manager Tom Modica wrote in the memo.
The site at Spring and California includes an active oil well, but the city says it does not pose a risk to future residents.
“We have finished testing the site, and at this time, the tests do not show that there will be any impact from the existing oil well,” Assistant City Manager Linda Tatum said Friday.
The site was chosen in part because the city already owned it, eliminating any potential purchase price for the land, a memo said Thursday. The city received a $30.5 million state grant to help fund tiny homes and purchase a hotel that will be converted into a homeless shelter. This project is also behind schedule.
The memo notes that the new site is also close to bus stops, a grocery store, a hospital, a library, a shopping center and the existing amenities that the tiny homes will rely on.
As the project moves away from the Multi-Service Center, which has city employees on site, Long Beach will now have to find a third-party provider to operate the site and provide things like case management, security, meals, transportation and laundry services, according to the memo.
Once the tiny homes are built, the grant agreement with the state stipulates they will remain in place for 15 years. After 15 years, the city intends to move the modular units to a new location — rated 50 years — and consolidate the parcel at Spring and California into Willow Springs Park, Modica’s memo said.
The city will have to resubmit plans to the state and complete new designs for the project before moving forward, but Tatum said the city believes it meets the state’s criteria for the grant and expects the project to be approved.
“We are very confident that this is a very suitable landscape for tiny homes, and we are ready to move forward as soon as the state gives its approval,” Tatum said.