LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Housing justice and homeless advocates with Housing Is A Human Right, Healthy Housing Foundation by AHF, Coalition to Preserve LA, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today blasted Los Angeles politicians and bureaucrats for their ongoing lackluster response to the human catastrophe of homelessness in Los Angeles. The rebuke, specifically targeting Mayor Eric Garcetti and the County Board of Supervisors, was prompted by today’s word of a delay in the formal release of the 2019 homeless count, traditionally released by May 31st each year, but now pushed to Tuesday, June 4th.
“The last minute, unexpected delay of the release of L.A.’s 2019 homeless count to next Tuesday suggests that there’s been a sharper increase in the homeless numbers than what advocates and officials might have anticipated, despite over $619 million in government spending on the homeless in the region over the last year,” said Michael Weinstein, president, AHF. “Delay, inaction and spin: Why? This allows Mayor Garcetti, City Council and the Board of Supervisors time to spin away their outdated, expensive—and clearly ineffectual—response to the homeless crisis we actually have here in Los Angeles. The official response on homelessness simply does not correlate to the crisis we face and our elected officials just continue to move at the speed of government. It’s a national disgrace.”
Homeless advocates’ criticisms of the response to L.A.’s homeless and affordable housing crises include:
- City Council’s continual approval of development projects with NO designated affordable or extremely low-income housing units (recent unanimous 14-0 vote to approve a 725-unit Chinatown project with NO affordable units. Councilman Gil Cedillo overrode recommendation that 37 units be set aside as affordable for very low-income tenants).
- The astronomic price tag—well over $500K per unit—of so called ‘affordable’ housing units under the Measure HHH bond.
- The fact that NO homeless individual has been housed yet under HHH—three years after L.A. voters approved the $1.2B bond in Nov. 2016).
- City Council’s refusal to ban campaign contributions from developers and real estate interests (again, Councilman Cedillo: “I’m not quite sure — what's the problem we're trying to solve?”).
- City Council’s razing and destruction of Parker Center to build a luxury corporate L.A. government tower for city employees, despite the fact that housing advocates commissioned feasible plans to turn the former police HQ into housing units for over 700 homeless individuals.
- The city’s ongoing and inhumane homeless rousting policies and confiscation and destruction of homeless individuals’ belongings.
- The city and county’s failure to explore and adopt an ‘adaptive reuse’ approach to housing the homeless by purchasing and repurposing old—already existing—un- and under-occupied single room occupancy (SRO) hotels throughout Los Angeles (by some estimates there are over 10,000 such rooms in hotels in L.A.)
For more information on housing and homeless advocates’ concerns, please visit: LAScandal.org.
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