LA finally going to solve homeless crisis with “Housing Central Command”

by DCG

The street of LA…

Like many progressive-run, West coast cities, Los Angeles has had a homeless crisis for many years.

In June 2019, it was announced that the number of homeless people in Los Angeles County jumped 12 percent over the previous year, despite $619 million in government tax spending tax payer dollars to help alleviate the problem.

After spending all that taxpayer money to barely make a dent in their crisis, the bureaucrats have come up with a solution: the creation of a “Housing Central Command” center. Details from Yahoo:

“Los Angeles city and county officials on Tuesday announced a new strategy to speed the process of getting homeless people into permanent housing that is modeled on the federal government’s response to natural disasters.

The creation of a “Housing Central Command” marks an overhaul of how agencies work together in addressing the growing number of people living on the street, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

Previously the system was slowed by red tape and gaps in information showing what housing units were available and who is eligible to move into them, officials said. In some cases there was a waiting period of 10 months from a person being matched to housing to signing a lease.

“Nobody was holding the full picture of resources,” said LAHSA interim executive director Heidi Marston. “Our systems weren’t talking to each other.”

The new initiative uses a “war room model” inspired by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s approach to finding homes for people suddenly displaced by hurricanes, Marston said. Now officials will have access to real-time data showing housing availability as well as funding streams, according to LAHSA.

Since the launch in December, officials have identified some 3,000 potential housing units that were previously not part of the overall inventory, Marston said.

The central command is a major step toward restructuring a response system overseen by LAHSA that also includes housing and development authorities, the mayor’s office and health departments.

“We have a high number of people who need to be rehoused rapidly,” Marson said of the situation in greater Los Angeles, where officials have declared homelessness a state of emergency. Including crisis-response experts on a day-to-day basis shows that officials are treating the problem with the urgency it deserves, she said.

In its 2019 count, the authority reported that there were close to 60,000 homeless people living in LA County, with more than 36,000 of them in the city. All but about 25% live on the streets. Freeway overpasses are lined with tents, and it’s a common sight to see someone pushing a shopping cart filled with belongings through downtown.

According to LAHSA and Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office, an average of 130 homeless people in Los Angeles move into housing daily. However, an average of 150 people become homeless every day. “The homelessness crisis demands an emergency response, and moving the needle means being nimble, flexible and creative with our resources,” Garcetti said in a statement praising the new strategy.

Through the new process, officials also discovered $30 million of a $107 million grant from HUD to Los Angeles in 2017 had gone unspent within a calendar-year deadline, LAHSA said.

That happened because of low vacancy rates and higher market rates than public housing authorities could pay, LAHSA officials said, along with “landlord bias” against tenants with mental disorders or a history of homelessness.

“It is completely unacceptable that housing funds were left unspent when our unsheltered neighbors continue to languish out on the street,” said LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis. The new efforts will leave behind a “disjointed” system and “maximize all of the region’s resources,” she said.”

Read the whole story here.

While HUD Secretary Ben Carson met with Los Angeles officials a week ago to discuss strategies for addressing homelessness in Los Angeles, I’m not holding my breath that the demorats in charge will actually accomplish any major goals. Well, maybe just one: the “discovery” of more unspent taxpayer dollars.

DCG