North Westwood Neighborhood Council recap – Jan. 8
Jan. 9, 2020 5:41 p.m.
The North Westwood Neighborhood Council is the official neighborhood council representing Westwood Village and UCLA to the Los Angeles City Council. Council meetings are open to the public and held monthly. The next meeting will be held Feb. 5 in the Weyburn Commons Village View Room from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- The council did not take a position on a proposed pilot project to shelter and support women who are experiencing homelessness at 10794 Le Conte Avenue, where PodShare is located. NWWNC President Michael Skiles said the council’s land-use committee visited the PodShare facility and found the residents were happy in their living conditions. The council decided to table this agenda item because it is unclear if there are building violations at the site and the council would like more information on the proposal before drafting a resolution about the project.
- The council met with UCLA Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael Beck who gave an update on UCLA Housing and UCLA Transportation projects and goals. Beck said UCLA has around 5,200 beds of undergraduate and graduate housing under construction. He added that none of these projects will offer dining facilities, which may drive students to spend money on food in Westwood Village.
- Beck said UCLA anticipates offering a four-year housing guarantee for first-year students and a two-year housing guarantee for transfer students once their undergraduate housing projects are finished around 2022. He added that UCLA still has a long way to go to offer guaranteed housing for all graduate students.
- Beck said UCLA is in talks to purchase an apartment building on Santa Monica Boulevard that would provide at least an additional 300 units of housing for graduate students. Beck did not disclose the exact location of the building because the purchase is not yet finalized.
- Beck said graduate students living at Weyburn Terrace will have to be temporarily moved to other UCLA Housing properties during the 2028 Summer Olympics. He added that the western half of campus would primarily be devoted to the Olympics and the east of campus will operate classes as usual.
- The council also asked Beck questions about these updates and issues concerning students who may be experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity. Beck said UCLA is still trying to understand the extent of the student housing insecurity because it is currently unclear how many students are experiencing it. UCLA is not looking to offer safe parking spaces on campus where students can sleep in their cars because it considers that practice unsafe and unsanitary, Beck said. The NWWNC previously asked UCLA to offer safe parking spaces for students during its November meeting.
- Beck said UCLA is looking at potentially offering a hostel-like space where students experiencing housing insecurity can pay $15 a night for a place to sleep. Some version of the hostel project will be attempted on a small-scale level, potentially as early as fall, but a permanent solution will likely require the campus to build a new hostel environment, Beck said.