Lease extended to July 2023 following vote this week
Los Angeles City Council has approved a lease extension for Venice’s A Bridge Home homeless shelter.
On Wednesday, City Council approved a lease extension on the property until next July. The extension passed unanimously, though five council members were absent.
The 154-bed shelter opened in February 2020 on the 3.15-acre lot that takes up an entire block between Pacific Avenue and Main Street south of Sunset Avenue. The shelter sits on a former Metropolitan Transit Authority bus lot. MTA closed the lot in 2015 after receiving multiple offers from developers interested in the site.
Initially, the shelter was supposed to be open for only three years. Over the summer, however, Councilmember Mike Bonin introduced a motion calling for a lease extension with MTA and a sublease agreement with People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) to operate the shelter.
The lease extension has been met with opposition from many nearby residents.
“I live directly across the street from the Venice ABH – and while I admire their work and the home it has unhoused people, I am troubled by the lack of management from CD11 regarding the many safety issues that have arisen in our neighborhood. It seems fair to me that before the City extends a lease for a gigantic public housing project, input from neighbors would be at least fair,” reads a letter to City Council from a Venice resident. “Councilmember Bonin and CD11 have refused to acknowledge the concerns of the public as to safety and sanitation, whilst ignoring the fact that these concerns directly affect the guests of the Venice Bridge House. The neighborhood has seen a gigantic spike in crime, and Councilmember Bonin has continually refused to sanitize the streets surrounding the ABH Venice that now contain close to 100 encampment tents.”
Another resident wrote to City Council over the summer asking to hold off on voting until a new City Council is elected. Currently, Bonin’s seat is up for election, with Traci Park leading Erin Darling as votes continue to be tallied.
“I’m begging you to reconsider the extension. This should not be voted on or decided by the current council – let’s wait until the new Councilperson for CD 11 is sworn in, and we can have a real conversation about how to address this incredibly important issue,” reads the letter.