Woo: Housing for Actors a 'Great Idea'

Times Staff Writer

The 13th District's councilman-elect, Mike Woo, smiled a lot the night he attended the joint meeting of the actors' unions in North Hollywood.

"I think it's a great idea," he said later of the unions' idea to provide affordable housing for performers.

"When I was campaigning, I mentioned Manhattan Plaza (a New York residential development primarily for actors) as the kind of innovative project I would like to support."

Woo hasn't yet made a commitment to any of the unions, he stressed, "but I think it's a great concept, and I would like to put the resources of my office as a councilman behind it."

Edward Helfeld, city Community Redevelopment Agency administrator, was almost as enthusiastic. Said Helfeld:

"We certainly want to do anything we can to help to get low- and moderate-income housing for all people, including actors."

His agency is already assisting developers with projects for such specialized groups as wayward children and detoxification centers, he noted, "so we're not just interested in housing ordinary people. Modest income is the only prerequisite."

Like Woo, Marion Gibbons of Hollywood Heritage also attended the meeting. Said Gibbons:

"I think the students' proposals are quite impressive. Not only that, but the alliance of the three guilds is a wonderful thing.

"Traditionally, we have looked at people in the entertainment industry to raise money for this charity or that. To get together for their own good is wonderful."

She described the students' plans as "simply beautiful." "No doubt, some of them would take awhile to realize," she added, "but I think some would be very possible."

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