June 17, 2024

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Los Angeles officials are devising a program to help advance the transformation of a historic hotel with a nefarious past into homeless housing downtown.
The City Council approved a plan this week to explore a master lease with the historic Cecil Hotel to utilize it as permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness, City News Service reported. Agencies will outline potential programs to provide housing in the hotel through vouchers.
“Given the overwhelming need to address unsheltered homelessness in the city, including in Skid Row, the city should evaluate and outline a potential program with the Cecil Hotel,” the council motion reads.
The 98-year-old Cecil Hotel became an affordable housing site for formerly homeless people last December, but just 73 of the 600 available units are occupied now seven months later. By directly leasing all the units, the city could more rapidly place unhoused Angelenos in the former hotel.
Owner Baron Property Group is redeveloping the property at 640 South Main Street.
The Cecil was once dubbed “America’s Death Hotel” after a decades-long series of murders and suicides on the site, in addition to serial killers who reportedly lived at the property during their deadly sprees. The mysterious death in 2013 of a 21-year-old student who was staying at the hotel reignited further intrigue. The Cecil subsequently became the focus of true crime documentaries and fictional horror stories.
Gregory Cornfield can be reached at gc********@co****************.com.
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