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Is fixing up this Westlake building a lifesaver or a ‘waste of taxpayer money’?

In a bid to get homeless veterans off the streets, Los Angeles awarded more than $10 millionto help transform an unfussy building in Westlake into supportive housing.

Now critics are arguing that the money should be pulled. The reason?

“One set of extremely poor residents were displaced to make way for another set of extremely poor residents,” attorneys from the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and the Western Center on Law and Poverty wrote to the city on behalf of the Los Angeles Community Action Network. “This is, at best, a waste of taxpayer money.”

The Royal Park Motel — now known as West Third Apartments — had recentlybeen home to some residents who accused their landlord of illegally booting them out of their units. Just before the building was sold for the new project, those tenants had reached a settlement with their landlord that included payouts and a chance for other former residents to return.

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