L.A. Council approves $1.7M toward housing those displaced by fireworks blast

explosion
Photo credit Pete Demetriou KNX News

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Los Angeles City Council approved nearly $1.7 million in funding today to provide relocation assistance services for residents displaced by a fireworks explosion last year.

The June 2021 controlled detonation by the Los Angeles Police Department on East 27th Street, near San Pedro Street, sent 17 residents and first responders to hospitals, destroyed a bomb squad truck and damaged 22 residences, 13 businesses and 37 vehicles. According to the city's housing department, 14 properties have been repaired, and the city is paying for 21 occupied hotel rooms.

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As of June 30 -- one year after the incident -- 23 people in six households had been relocated to permanent housing. Eight more households were ready to relocate and searching for affordable units. The city will pay for a contractor, Overland, Pacific & Cutler, to work with the remaining residents to determine housing needs, providing referrals to available housing, coordinating moves and disbursing relocation assistance payments.

The city has already spent more than $1.3 million in accommodations.

Councilman Curren Price, who filed the motion, noted that "Since a number of displaced residents continue to live in temporary housing, there is a need to address barriers keeping them from relocating to permanent housing."

"Since day one of the 27th Street fireworks catastrophe, my office has served as a command center for impacted neighbors," Price said on Twitter this week. "From start to finish, we have stood side by side with the affected families to ensure they never had to navigate through this horrible ordeal alone."

A preliminary investigation into the blast by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives' National Response Team found that the LAPD bomb squad significantly underestimated, based on a visual assessment, the weight of explosive material being loaded into the containment truck for detonation.

Displaced families were initially housed in local motels through Price's office, which also established a $1 million emergency fund, but the city later rented 29 "corporate housing" units fit for long-term residency.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Pete Demetriou KNX News