Los Angeles city leaders on Tuesday unanimously ratified a state of emergency for the homeless declared by Karen Bass in her first official term as mayor.
The City Council approved the measure in a 13-0 vote. The declaration is scheduled to last six months as the city continues to grapple with solutions to how to house the homeless and people living on the streets.
“My mission is to take an urgent and strategic approach to moving Los Angeles in a new direction, solving one of our city’s most pressing challenges and creating a brighter future for every Angeleno,” Bass said, according to Fox Los Angeles.
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The declaration allows Bass to take a more aggressive approach to fighting homelessness. The board must sign off on the measure every 30 days.
Bass said he plans to announce the Inside Safe program in the coming days, which would cost less than $100 million and allow it to use master leases with motels to house the homeless, the report said.
The declaration would allow the city to make better use of city-owned land and speed up the approval of affordable housing in Los Angeles County, which many advocates say.
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Citywide, about 42,000 people in Los Angeles are classified as homeless, according to data released in September by the Los Angeles Department of Homeless Services. This indicator is 1.7% more than in 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 accounts have been postponed.
Human Help CEO Jennifer Hark Dietz said Bass was right to declare a state of emergency.
“The city’s approach to homelessness has remained piecemeal and politicized, and this emergency could use the power of the executive branch to sustainably improve our service system and dramatically increase the production of much-needed housing,” Dietz said. in the statement.
The Greater LA Committee, a group of civic leaders, also said it agreed with Bass’s move.
“Unprecedented actions like Mayor Bass’s plan are needed to significantly improve the lives of homeless people and address barriers to housing,” group chairman Miguel Santana and group leader Sarah Dussault said in a statement. housing and homelessness action group.