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Board of Supervisors approves Barger and Hahn's Urgent Homelessness Housing Initiative

Today the Los Angeles County Board Supervisors, led by Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn, adopted a landmark “Urgent Homelessness Housing Initiative” to address immediately the human crisis we face in Los Angeles County. Noting that current efforts to house the homeless are not working, the Board of Supervisors directed the County CEO to drive with urgency a fresh collaboration between County government and the private sector to (i) identify sites, (ii) recommend short-term and long-term housing solutions for those sites, (iii) identify the specific sources of available capital, and (iv) provide final specifications including cost, construction, and a timeline for each option. The Supervisors have called for the CEO to submit a plan including these elements by February 4, 2020.

Supervisor Barger emphasized that ongoing homeless housing approaches have been far too expensive, slow in execution, and small in scale to assist the estimated 44,000 people living on the street. The Supervisor emphasized that it is time to take a new approach applying government power in collaboration with private enterprise: “We have a crack strike team composed of planning and social services experts in our County Departments; our partners in the private sector know how to get build housing quickly and affordably. If we work together, I’m confident our partnership will allow us to construct housing far more rapidly to help people who have suffered far too long.”

The motion specifically directs the County CEO to take the following actions:

• Develop a process by which all steps necessary to implement the urgent housing plan, including permitting, zoning and approval processes, are streamlined and expedited, working in consultation with county departments;

• Locate ongoing and one-time funding for capital projects to be used for the development of homeless housing;

• Identify a housing expert from the private sector to provide oversight for the development and implementation of the plan;

• Develop a robust communications and outreach strategy to engage with communities impacted by the implementation of the plan;

• Schedule a bimonthly set item on the Board’s agenda for status reports beginning on December 10, 2019.

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