A controversial project to help alleviate the homeless crisis in Santa Monica has secured an additional $2 million in federal funding thanks to a $1.5 trillion spending package signed by President Joe Biden.
The local project revolves around the tearing down of Parking Structure 3 near the intersection of Arizona Avenue and 4th Street near the Promenade to building of mixed-use affordable housing.
Video Wednesday showed fencing around the parking garage as demolition of the structure began this week. The project’s demolition phase is expected to be completed by fall 2022, according to details provided on the city’s website.
Congressman Ted Liew (D-CA 33rd District) has secured nearly $11 million for 10 separate projects in his district related to homelessness, affordable housing, health care facilities and community centers, a news release from his office stated.
“The homelessness crisis in America is a national disgrace,” Rep. Lieu stated in a Patch article. “We must do more to support individuals and families experiencing homelessness.”
The project is not without its detractors, however.
Local property owner John Alle told KTLA the situation is urgent and that those experiencing homelessness need a place to go now.
“Some of them are dying. Some of them are laying, sleeping, urinating, having sex. We need to be able to have the police be able to move them to a place. And we’ve identified sites that are ready to go tomorrow,” Alle said.
Alle also pointed out that the parking structure itself is important to local merchants.
“The parking serves the merchants and we’re losing two tenants a month on the Promenade. They’re not giving up on retail, they’re giving up on Santa Monica because people can’t park,” Alle said.
The overall government funding package is designed to help families with the rising costs of living, create jobs, and help small businesses and restaurants, Lieu told the Patch.
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