Plans to overhaul Watts's Jordan Downs housing project—years in the making—looked like they were finally moving last year when Los Angeles passed the plan to turn it into an "urban village," but they've been hitting snags ever since. First it was found that the site of phase one is a huge toxic mess, and now LA has been taken out of the running for a $30-million federal grant that the city was banking on to help fund the redevelopment, the LA Times says. The massive Jordan Downs redevelopment plan would get rid of the projects' deteriorating facilities and replace them with what would ideally become a mixed-income community. Officials working on the estimated $700-million project are adamant that not getting this grant is a just a small setback, but, for some discouraged residents and local government officials, it seems like the area just can't catch a break. State Rep Janice Hahn, more angry than discouraged, compared being overlooked again to "a kick in the stomach."
South LA has been overlooked for decades, but just in the past few months it was excluded from Los Angeles's federal Promise Zone, which gives preference to some areas when applying for federal grants to fight poverty.
Still, there's some kind-of good news: The private developers hired by the Housing Authority have said they already have "commitments for $215 million in public and private funds." To bridge the funding gap beyond that, the head of the HA has said that officials might "identify new sources of money or reapply for the same federal grant next year," which sounds hopeful but also like another delay. The plans to redesign Jordan Downs were going full steam ahead to bring 1,400 new apartments, condos, parks, shops and restaurants in to replace the housing project's 700 apartments (currently housing about 2,300 residents).
· A setback for Jordan Downs project [LAT]
· LA is Going to Turn Watts's Jordan Downs Into an "Urban Village" [Curbed LA]