The Barclay Hotel in downtown Los Angeles is adding its name to the list of classic hotels turning into affordable housing for low-income and homeless families.
"We want to show that you can have a housing model without charging extremely high rent, especially in L.A.," said Dominique Eastman, the regional property manager for the Healthy Housing Foundation. "There are still people in need and there's still the working class poor that need quality and safe housing."
The Barclay Hotel offers 158 housing units priced between $400-750 a month. The rooms have a private bathroom and basic furniture. The hotel is now reviewing move in applications from the low income and homeless communities.
"Most of the people either come from encampments, they come from shelters, they come from rehabilitation centers," he added. "It's really a wide variety of places where they come from and we house all."
The Barclay is one of 11 hotels in the L.A. area that is being converted to single unit housing. Downtown L.A.'s Cecil Hotel also opened with 600 rooms available this month.
"It's outrageous how much homeless housing is costing and here we have an opportunity to do it at light-speed, in less than a year, at a fraction of the cost," said Assembly Member Miguel Santiago. "If we had 100 more of these units we can solve homelessness in L.A. County, so this is an example of what works."
The hotels not only offer a room but also social services to residents. State Senator Henry Stern says more low income housing could be on the way.
"We've got more projects like this, so we can ramp up, going beyond Project Roomkey or Homekey, into something more durable and sustainable, so I think L.A.'s ready," Stern added.