On December 14, the Skid Row Housing Trust cut the red ribbon, officially opening the landmark Cecil Hotel as 100% affordable housing. The building, which was acquired by Simon Baron Development and is managed by the Skid Row Housing Trust, will be home to 600 individuals experiencing housing insecurity. Each unit is between 160 and 176 square feet, accommodating one person, and comes with guarded entry, a community kitchen, a laundry facility, a recreational room, and on-site case management services provided by SRHT Health and Social Services.
This project, which is privately funded and self–sustaining, will be available to low-income renters earning between 30 and 60 percent of the area’s median income ($24,850 per year).
“The Cecil Hotel is a perfect example of the bold and creative solutions needed to make a dent in the homelessness crisis. We are proud to partner with Simon Baron Development to welcome home 600 neighbors who are currently unsheltered, unhoused, or housing insecure,” a Skid Row Housing Trust official said in a statement.
Despite the countless attempts to rebrand, the notorious hotel has continued to be haunted by its gruesome past—which includes having serial killers Richard “Nightstalker” Ramirez and Jack Unterweger as guests, numerous suicides, at least two murders, and many mysterious deaths. One of the most notable cases was the eerie disappearance of Canadian tourist Elisa Lam, whose body turned up in a water tank on the rooftop. It later became the focus of the Netflix series Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel.
While the new for-profit owners initially had plans to transform it into a combination of affordable housing, apartments, and a hotel, COVID-19 halted plans. With homelessness on the rise, one of the developers working on the project looked into turning the entire building into affordable housing. The new solution seemed to tick all the boxes, it provides the community with a sustainable solution while generating a profit for the company.
Hopefully, this is only the beginning of a brighter future for the infamous Beaux Arts-style structure.