Notorious Jordon Downs housing project in Watts get the OK to for new “urban village” project
WWW.STREETGANGS.COM STAFF WRITER
August 16, 2013
The famous Jordan Downs housing project located in Watts will be replaced with a project called “urban village”. This new village will include shops, town homes, a park and garden. The Los Angeles City Council voted on the project last Wednesday. The vote on the project was unanimous which led to the approval to a series of land use and planning laws that has been in the making for many years.
The change of scenery is to motivate and attract a different level of citizens. The projects plan is to bring in higher income people into the community to allow socioeconomic diversity. This means blending the lower income and poverty stricken citizens already living there with the new to bring the community up.
“This is a great day for Watts,” said Councilman Joe Buscaino, who represents the area. He called the plan “game-changing” and “life-changing” for the residents living in the 1940s- and 50s-era stucco buildings.
The notorious Jordan Downs known as one of the city’s most poverty stricken and violent areas house’s about 2, 300 residents. Buscaino noted that developers could create up to 250,000 square feet of new retail space in Watts — an amount equal to nearly half the size of the shopping mall at the Grove in the Fairfax district. The project is expected to create up to 200 permanent new jobs, along with 6,400 jobs during construction, he said.
Some of the tenants are worried that they will be evicted to make room for the wealthier. According to city and housing authority officials, there will be no large scale relocation of residents. However, residents in “good standing” may stay in their old units until they move into new ones.
“Tenants are worried about displacement,” said Thelmy Perez, a community organizer working with residents. She also criticized the council for approving the item without asking city planners or lawyers a single question during the hearing.
But, officials reiterated that promise Wednesday, with Buscaino declaring that anyone with concerns should “worry not.”
The vote is just one step towards the project. The project needs funding before construction can begin. Grants have been submitted and hoping to gain $8-million from the state, $30-million from a federal grant along with many more millions to extend Century Blvd. The fight is on to win these funds which is depleting every day.
Read more here: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-jordan-downs-20130815,0,1593534.story