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Homes May Rise on Incinerator Site

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved in concept the sale of the city’s abandoned LANCER trash incinerator site in South-Central Los Angeles to a nonprofit group that plans to build 316 townhouses for low-income buyers.

Under the plan, the Nehemiah West Housing Corp. would buy the 12-acre industrial site for $6.6 million, below the city’s investment of $8 million. The project would mark the first major homeownership development in the South-Central area in a generation.

Councilwoman Gloria Molina, chairwoman of the Community Redevelopment and Housing Committee, said it is “one of the most exciting housing projects that the city will embark on.”

The matter will return to the council for a final vote once the legal language has been drawn up.

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In 1987 the city abandoned the LANCER project, a much-opposed plan to build a huge municipal trash incinerator in a tattered industrial area near 41st Street and Long Beach Avenue.

Nehemiah West was created by church-based groups, including the United Neighborhoods Foundation and Southern California Organizing Committee, to build new communities in poor areas. Organizers hope to construct hundreds of similar townhouses elsewhere.

The townhouses in South-Central Los Angeles--priced at $62,000--would sell to first-time home buyers who make between $18,000 and $26,000 annually. The average mortgage payment would be about $570, lower than the average rent in Los Angeles.

The $35-million project would be financed with interest-free loans from church groups. Other financing will come from grants, traditional lenders and bond issues.


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