In other cities, 64-square-foot aluminum and composite sheds are being used as quick and inexpensive emergency shelter for homeless people.
Not in Los Angeles. Here, plans to employ the minimalist structures, known as “tiny homes,” have blossomed into expensive development projects with access roads, underground utilities and concrete foundations — and commensurate planning delays.
At the city’s first tiny home village, scheduled to open in January, each of the 39 closet-sized homes is costing $130,000, about 10 times what some other cities are spending. Five more villages are planned to open later.
Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the program in March, signaling that the concept of sheltering people in tiny homes, long neglected in Los Angeles, had emerged as a leading strategy in the city’s response to a federal lawsuit alleging it has done too little to get homeless people off the streets.
He told the court that the city had purchased 50 of the prefab structures as the first installment of a plan to shelter homeless people in villages of tiny homes around the city.