New Program to Clean Up Short-Stay Hotels in Wilmington/Harbor Area

Supervisor Don Knabe announced a new program today that will soon be addressing criminal activity and public nuisance complaints at short-stay hotels in the Wilmington and Harbor Gateway neighborhoods.

The "Harbor Area Vendor Voucher Pilot" is a partnership initiated by Supervisor Knabe between the County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS), the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), the City Attorney’s Office, the City Department of Housing and the City Department of Building and Safety to address the mounting public concerns over Single Room Occupancy (SRO) hotels in the Wilmington/Harbor area.

These SRO hotels have been generating numerous code and safety complaints in the communities where they are located. The LAPD has been getting frequently called out to these hotels to deal with problems, and the owners were being cited again and again for zoning violations.

Under the program, which officially launches on June 1, the County, who pays the hotel owners $27 per night to house General Relief recipients for up to 14 days, will ensure the property owners comply with meeting code and safety citations imposed by the City. If the owners don’t comply and clean up their properties, they won’t get paid by the County.

Over the past year, this County-City partnership has fine-tuned the workings of the program by testing it on the Bonnie Lee Hotel in Wilmington, which has been a center of criminal activity and non-compliance with building codes. Cleanup of this test site has proven successful and the results of the test will be incorporated into the larger program.

"These hotels have been a hotbed of criminal activity for far too long, and it’s time we held the owners of these hotels accountable for the conditions that are festering on their properties, said Supervisor Knabe. Since the County funds these hotels, it’s only logical that we bring up our ability to cut off their funding if they don’t comply. The partnership with the City has been extremely helpful, and I understand that conditions are improving in these hotels already."