Asian Americans protest ‘tiny homes’ for homeless in Arcadia

Dozens protest against plan to build 15 units

Arcadia residents are protesting a plan to give shelter to homeless people. (Getty)
Arcadia residents are protesting a plan to give shelter to homeless people. (Getty)

The battle over housing the homeless in Los Angeles County has moved into the suburbs.

In Arcadia, Asian American residents are protesting against the potential development of “tiny homes” — 8-by-8-foot units available to those without shelter, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Los Angeles City Councilwoman April Verlato of Arcadia has supported a plan to build 15 of the units, which would give occupants access to food, shelter, laundry and job placement services. The Arcadia City Council voted to study the plan in February.

“April Verlato needs to understand that tiny homes are not the answer for Arcadia,” Fenglan “Juli” Liu, a protest organizer who lives in neighboring Temple City, told the Los Angeles Times. “They’re prisons that no homeless person wants to stay in. I know. I’ve asked them.”

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The plan is one of many solutions local agencies have considered to help alleviate the homelessness crisis across the county. L.A. city also opened its first village of tiny homes in February, paying Washington-based company Pallet $8,600 per unit.

All the way over in Venice, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has stepped in to assess homeless camps along the boardwalk, even though it does not have jurisdiction over the area, citing “failure of local politicians,” the Los Angeles Times also reported. The sheriff is aiming to clear the homeless encampments by July 4.

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently outlined a $12 billion plan to address homelessness across the state over the next two years, with funds allocated to expanding Project Homekey and to help Californians cover back rent and overdue utility bills.

[LAT 1, 2] — Isabella Farr