Watts, Los Angeles–Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced this week during his daily coronavirus press briefings that the city of Los Angeles has received $35 million they say will be allocated for improvements in the Jordan Downs projects in Watts.
The money was awarded through a grant by the The Choice Neighborhoods Implementation program through the United States Department of Housing.
The money will be used for the “Watts Rising Transformation Plan.” This includes the redevelopment of 700 public housing units at Jordan Downs into 1,569 units.
The Jordan Downs was first built as military housing in 1955.
This is not the first time the city has been awarded multi millions for redevelopment in Watts.
In fact, Jordan Downs Projects is currently going through several phases of redevelopment that includes doubling the already existing units and the addition of 115,000 square foot retail space, nine acres of park space and a 50,000 square foot community center.
In 2018, the city of L.A received $13 million for redevelopment at the Jordan Downs.
“The Michaels Organization announced today that brand new affordable housing it is developing in partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) as part of a comprehensive revitalization of the Jordan Downs public housing community will benefit from more than $13 million in grant funding.
The grant, part of $35 million in funds received by HACLA from California’s Cap-and-Trade program, will provide funding for 81 new apartment homes, affordable to families earning up to 50 percent of the area median Income. Michaels will also receive $50,000 in additional grant funds to support neighborhood bicycle safety programs and $1.3 million for a new neighborhood park,” (Newswire).
Redevelopment in an area of Los Angeles that has seen immense violence and disinvestment over the decades is important. However, many Black residents in Los Angeles believe the change is not being constructed for them.
“They only invest in things that will pay itself off later. The government is a whole pimp.”
“You can’t occupy the housing when it’s under redevelopment, when the current residents move they’ll probably be given a check to find elsewhere to live and won’t be allowed to come back. It’s no way they’re “redeveloping” the projects just to have the same people come back. Gentrification.”
“I encourage everyone to get involve in local politics, get civically engaged through neighborhood councils like the Watts Neighborhood Council. This grant was being discussed prior to COVID19 . HUD was coming to the neighborhood council meetings and discussion by the redevelopment not only of the Jordan downs projects but also the surrounding neighbors … we need more people involved in the decision making, we need more black and brown people ! Please get involved!”
Black’s in Los Angeles have had a very unique experience to the city that has seemingly worked overtime to keep the community at a disadvantage.
From segregating and concentrating Blacks along Central Avenue when our grandparents came from the south during the great migration, to crack bombing the Black communities of Watts, Compton and Los Angeles.
Almost 40-50 years later, the institutional racism that rules business and politics in L.A County, continues to keep Black’s at a disadvantage present day. This is why people are skeptical when they hear money being allocated to Black communities especially during the time of aggressive gentrification in L.A.
Video: CBS LA