A year after opening in Los Angeles, a 600-room hotel for the homeless is still mostly empty: Report

"Supportive housing project" stalls amid alleged bureaucracy entanglement.
The lobby of the Cecil Hotel, Los Angeles

A major homeless housing project in Los Angeles is reportedly struggling to attract tenants a year after it opened, according to media reports. 

The Cecil Hotel, built in 1924 and long known for its proximity to Los Angeles's notorious Skid Row district, was debuted in December of 2021 as a re-imagined housing complex for homeless city residents. 

Yet "two-thirds of the Cecil remains unoccupied" after a year, according to the Los Angeles Times, with roughly 400 rooms sitting vacant there.

The Times claimed the project was beset with "a slow-moving bureaucracy and multiple failure points." The Cecil is "one of the few affordable housing projects in Los Angeles of [its] size that is fully privately financed."

Susie Shannon, a housing rights activist in Los Angeles, told the paper that the hotel has over 600 rooms and yet "it’s been vacant for years."

“They literally have homeless encampments in the shadows of these vacant buildings," she said.