Jamie Paige  / Special to the Daily Press

A parking lot located off Venice Boulevard in Venice is among 26 city owned properties that Los Angeles Controller Ron Galperin is urging city officials to take advantage of to house people experiencing homelessness.

During a press conference last week, Galperin stated: “It is clear that more must be done right away to address the unparalleled tragedy on our streets. People across Los Angeles are suffering and dying because they lack shelter night after night, with people of color impacted disproportionately. We need more housing solutions now. Using vacant, publicly owned properties would bring thousands of people off the streets, and help them get access to health, mental health and other critical services they so badly need.”

Galperin released the list of locations in January.  The 26 locations were selected with criteria that included examining their size and current use.

Included on the list is a parking lot, controlled by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, in Venice. The lot on the 700 block of N. Venice Blvd. is just a few blocks from the Centennial Park encampment as well as adjacent to homes and down the road from a daycare center.

Galperin said he found that the city uses only a small portion of its land to address the homelessness crisis, and the 26 properties he identified would provide an additional 1.7 million square feet of space for interim housing. The locations could support tiny home villages, safe parking and safe camping areas as well as support facilities such as restrooms, showers and laundry centers, Galperin said.

Galperin is in the midst of a competitive election to retain his position and his challengers have all endorsed some variation on using city property for emergency housing.   

Published in partnership with the Westside Current