Housing Money Earmarked Near Staples

The area around the L.A. Live complex in Los Angeles is expected to get $30 million in voter-approved improvements, earmarked from a housing bond.

The $2.8 billion bond passed last year gives the state permission to borrow for affordable housing in California. State lawmakers added legislation that would govern access to the bond and had ties to the South Park Business and Community Improvement District, which has links to Philip Anschutz, owner of the Staples Center and Nokia Theatre L.A. Live, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"It will be tremendous for the area," South Park business group chairman Cliff Hoffman told the Times.

Advocates for affordable housing objected to the funding, arguing it was supposed to help low-income residents, not improve the marketability of Anschutz’s downtown attractions.

"It’s extremely disappointing that underserved areas don’t seem to be able to compete, while really well-financed entities are able to get these public subsidies," Maria Cabildo, president of the East Los Angeles Community Corp., told the paper. "Those dollars should go where the need is, and that area doesn’t seem to have the same need."

AEG spokesman Michael Roth said the money is not going to AEG and the business district will be responsible for figuring out how to spend it.

South Park’s grant application proposed the money go to improvements along a stretch of road near Staples Center, including modifications to sidewalks, lights, curbs and other features, the paper said.