Leave it to government bureaucrats to slap a $600,000 price tag on a $10,000 investment.
That’s exactly what Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and other Democrat city leaders have done with their new permanent supportive housing complex to provide homes to the city’s hordes of homeless people.
The Daily Wire reports that the $34 million “Isla de Los Angeles” development includes more than fifty furnished one-bedroom apartments along with retail spaces, a park, and a shared public street for farmers markets and other community events. Residents will also have onsite access to social services like counseling, job training, and life skills workshops.
According to the architect of the project, which will use stacked shipping containers as primary building materials, the design was chosen “as a way to reduce the cost and construction time.”
KFI News reports, however, that the project’s cost ultimately breaks down to about $600,000 per residential unit, which it says is more than the median price of a condo in already overpriced L.A.
Six. Hundred. Grand.
The Daily Wire continues:
“It’s always very expensive to build anything from the ground up,” said J.F. Mailander, a retired banker who has been a vocal critic of Garcetti’s housing policies. “This is why we used to simply buy old buildings to house people – it was the cheapest way to go. Profits had already been made, and the buildings had already turned a few times. But this is the very engine that has been fueling L.A. politics. Any new building gets architects, developers, contractors, labor unions, lawyers, activists, PR people, charitable agencies involved, and all find a way to give back to the political sponsor.”
A spokesperson for Clifford Beers Housing, the non-profit developer leading the Isla project, told The Daily Wire “about 30%” of the funding (approximately $10.2 million) comes from a $1.2 billion bond measure known as Proposition HHH, which voters approved in November 2016. The initiative, championed by Garcetti, allowed for the construction of affordable housing for the homeless while also providing facilities for mental health care, drug and alcohol treatment, and other amenities.
Earlier this year, the Los Angeles Times reported that members of the citizen committee appointed to monitor the bond program were alarmed by the rising costs of building the new residences. The Times noted, “housing construction that hovered at $400,000 per unit before Proposition HHH is now routinely above $550,000 per unit – a rate that would exhaust Proposition HHH funds well short of the 10,000-unit goal.”
“We aren’t actually building housing cheaply; we are just simulating building cheap housing as expensively as possible,” Mailander told The Daily Wire.
In other words, the City of Los Angeles is dropping hundreds of thousands of dollars on homes that you can literally buy on eBay and have shipped to your back yard starting at $10k and topping out at around $100k for the swankiest prefabricated models.
Sounds about right.