Long Beach Secures Land for Tiny House Project, Opens Winter Shelter Early – Click on Telegram

Long Beach has found a new location for its planned community of 33 tiny homes, while the city’s winter shelter for the homeless opens, officials announced this week.

The tiny homes will be located on the corner of East Spring Street and California Street — near public transit stops — and will provide access to amenities such as plumbing and water, Assistant City Manager Theresa Chandler said at this week’s City Council meeting.

“This land has been vacant for some time and could be reused to build 33 tiny homes as well as an office building,” Chandler said.

She added that the goal is to develop the plot of small homes and secure its use for more than 15 years.

City staff have already conducted a multi-environment review on the property, and collaborated with the Long Beach Fire Department to conduct safety tests, resulting in the site being declared fit for use, pending approval by the California Department of Housing and Community Development.

The state agency is also the program’s primary funder.

The tiny homes will prioritize “those experiencing chronic homelessness, or those who have experienced homelessness for a year or more and have a disabling condition,” city spokeswoman Chelsea Magallon said.

Six units will be available to people with mobility, hearing or visual disabilities.

The tiny house community will also include a security guard position, an office, parking and outdoor common space.

Chandler said city staff will host a series of one-on-one sessions with neighbors to make sure they are aware of the project, and will organize an engagement forum to be held in early December at the site.

If the new site is approved by the state agency, city staff estimates, the tiny homes project would be completed in early 2025.

Finding a suitable place for the tiny homes took nearly two months, after the initial project was scratched when the Port of Long Beach claimed the previously selected parcel, adjacent to the multi-service center, to expand its activities.

In 2022, the Long Beach Health Department received $25 million from the state to develop tiny homes and add them to a growing array of units and services to address the homelessness crisis.

Of these funds, at least $5.6 million has been authorized to pay for the construction, furnishing and management of the tiny house community for three years. The money is part of a broader $30.3 million grant to support more shelters that include four hotels and motels purchased under Project Roomkey in California.

Mayor Rex Richardson stressed the importance of securing a lot to build a residential community that provides stability for people without housing.

“I’m OK with taking some additional steps to make sure the site for this pilot program works,” said Richardson, who praised the potential addition of tiny homes to the 1,300- to 1,400-unit inventory of those homeless in Long. shore. “We’re looking for scalable ideas. If this works, if we do it right, this could be something we can invest in the future.”

News of the location of the new tiny homes came during a council meeting on Tuesday, November 14, the same day the city’s winter shelter opened.

The facility, which is scheduled to run through March 31 — but could stay open longer if El Niño weather patterns persist — is located at 702 W. Anaheim St. and offers 125 beds.

The city bought that facility from Rescue Mission — which used it for a thrift store that closed late last year — for $7.2 million in June. Before that, the city temporarily moved the 85-bed temporary winter shelter to its location in late April.

The city has since added 40 beds to that total number of winter shelters for the season, Magallon said.

This facility will eventually become the site of a long-term homeless shelter, but that will be a “significant project,” Megalon said, and construction likely won’t begin until after the winter shelter season.

The winter shelter is managed by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and First Serve Outreach Ministries.

LAHSA funds the shelter program with beds available 24 hours a day, and case management staff are available to assist unhoused people.

“This is the first time in 10 years that we’ve opened this store this early in November,” Chandler said.

The annual effort to find a site for the winter shelter has finally concluded, the mayor said.

“Now we don’t have to do that again, because we took action under the emergency declaration to purchase the site (702 E. Anaheim St.) from the rescue mission,” Richardson said.

The city is also working on finding another site to use for inclement weather shelter to provide extra beds when it rains or is below 45 degrees, Magallon said.

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