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Boyle Heights housing for mentally ill homeless people suffers setback

BOYLE HEIGHTS — A City Council committee headed by Councilman Jose Huizar dealt a blow to a nonprofit developer that wants to build 49 apartment units for mentally ill homeless people next to the landmark El Mercado shopping center, reports The L.A. Times.

The Planning and Land Use Management committee supported an appeal filed by the owners of El Mercado against the housing project, which would rise on a  vacant MTA parcel at the corner of First and Lorena Streets. If the committee’s decision is upheld by the full City Council,  the developer, A Community of Friends, would be forced to undertake a lengthy and costly environmental impact study that could scuttle the project.

Huizar has long opposed the project, which has been in the works for several years, saying he is concerned about the risks posed by an abandoned oil well on the property.

Supporters of the project, say they are concerned about the fate of other homeless housing projects if the Community of Friends project is eventually scrapped.

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