The AP has the story. An excerpt is below:
A community of squat, futuristic domes once billed as a utopian refuge from life on the streets is itself facing homelessness.
The silvery, igloo-like fiberglass structures, packed tightly on a downtown lot, are being sold online to the highest bidder.
Such is the unceremonious end to Dome Village _ activist Ted Hayes’ model of a self-governed, self-sufficient community for the homeless. Since its founding in 1993, the village has been visited by celebrities but has gone largely unnoticed by thousands of commuters buzzing past on the freeway nearby.
Hayes said a big rent increase _ from $2,500 to $18,330 per month _ is forcing the village from its site near the downtown Staples Center. The partnership that owns the land said the increase reflects soaring downtown property values.
Residents were saddened by the decision to sell. They must leave by October.
“We have such a family here,” said Graham Foster, 51, a former nightclub manager who arrived three years ago after living several months in a battered motor home. “Closing down is almost like an explosion.”
When Dome Village was founded 13 years ago, Hayes envisioned a cooperative of 30 homeless working and living together, and counseling each other through tough times.
About 450 people have occupied the village over the years, living in the domes and using community kitchen, laundry and bathroom facilities on the site. Families and singles alike planted gardens, paid $70 a month in rent and divided chores on the 1.25-acre lot, which was once choked with weeds that grew neck-high through cracks in the asphalt.
Proceeds from the eBay auction will help replicate the village elsewhere in Los Angeles, Hayes said. In the meantime, families have been placed in shelters across the city.
Bids started at $3,000 per structure. The domes can be broken down to fit into the back of a pickup truck.
Hayes, a Republican, blamed politics for the village’s demise. He said Democratic landlords raised the rent two days after he appeared at a meeting of a Bel Air Republican women’s club. A lawyer for the landlords denied politics were at play.
Now I know that my idea of utopian homes wouldn’t be described by the adjective “squat,” but if it sounds utopic to you, bid here.