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Why is Watts's Huge Jordan Downs Makeover Taking So Long to Get Started?

The plan to redo Watts's Jordan Downs public housing project—transforming it into a mixed-income, mixed-use development with residences, restaurants, parks, and shops— has been in the works for years. A developer was picked in 2012 and they expected construction to get underway in 2013, but "meaningful work" on the project hasn't even begun. LA City Councilmember Joe Buscaino (whose Fifteenth District includes Watts) writes in an LA Times op-ed that the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles has dropped the ball, failing to do what was necessary to win $30-million federal grants not once, but twice.

The biggest barrier to the project getting underway is the failure to secure funding. The project's application from last year's grant process for federal money didn't even make it through the first round of competition; its most recent attempt was disqualified because it failed to include a required letter from Mayor Eric Garcetti expressing support for the project, writes Buscaino. (Something that probably would have been pretty easy for a city agency to get.)

Further adding to the frustration of missing out, the grants that the Housing Authority was applying for seem to be tailor-made for the Jordan Downs makeover—it's money that's "set aside specifically for rehabbing out-of-date public housing"—so it's kind of shocking that this prime candidate would get passed over at all.
· Why the delay on redeveloping Jordan Downs? [LAT]
· Huge Jordan Downs Overhaul Loses Out on Big Chunk of Money [Curbed LA]

Jordan Downs

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