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With Golden Motel project kaput, how can LA get more community buy-in on future homeless housing projects?

Two-year-old Elyiah Balam and four-year-old Jeniah Balam are living with their family at Golden Motel.
Two-year-old Elyiah Balam and four-year-old Jeniah Balam are living with their family at Golden Motel.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

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It’s the constant struggle with many solutions proposed for Los Angeles's chronic homelessness issue: how can we solve the homeless problem if communities aren’t willing to house them?

The latest initiative to stop short of completion is the Golden Motel project, which developers announced on Monday would not be going forward. Denver-based nonprofit developer Mercy Housing planned to purchase the old building near Temple City and convert it into housing and services for homeless veterans and the formerly homeless. Mercy says it withdrew its application for permits to renovate the building after the Golden Motel owners decided to go with a bidder who was offering more instead of waiting for Mercy to get the additional money and support they needed.

As many projects like it do, the Golden Motel project faced considerable pushback from residents of the neighborhood surrounding it. They say the project was well-intentioned but worried about the size and scope of the project, the potential for more property crimes, decreases in property values and risks to neighborhood children.

How can the city and county of Los Angeles communicate better with members of communities where homeless housing projects are being proposed? Or is the battle between developers and communities fated to be a stalemate forever?

Guest host Libby Denkmann in for Larry Mantle


Chris Ko, director of homeless initiative and the "Home for Good" program at the United Way of Greater Los Angeles

Lucy Liou, resident of Temple City who opposed the Golden Motel project

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