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A PLAN TO REDUCE HOMELESSNESS

A PLAN TO REDUCE HOMELESSNESS

Dear Fellow Angeleno,

Whenever I meet a child or a family experiencing homelessness, I remember how close my own family came to living on the street. That was more than three decades ago, and in that time housing security and affordability in Los Angeles have gotten much worse.

The recent explosion of homelessness in Los Angeles is a man-made, modern-day human catastrophe, a nightmare unlike anything we’ve ever seen in our city. Just last year, the number of Angelenos experiencing homelessness jumped 16%, even as the city’s population saw a decline. Today nearly 40,000 people in our city have no roof over their head at night. Homelessness among young people — who should be free to pursue the future of their dreams — saw a 24% increase this year as well.

That’s why I am committed to advancing aggressive, imaginative solutions. From streamlining the bureaucratic process and burdensome red tape to using city-owned land for shelters and housing — we can’t afford to leave any stone unturned. This is my approach to the crisis, and if elected to be your voice on the City Council, I will fight to implement this plan to bring our neighbors indoors & provide chronically homeless Angelenos with the services they need.

Sincerely,
Kevin de León

REFORM THE SYSTEM & MAKE TOUGH CHOICES

The current approach to homelessness simply isn’t working. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) spends more than $400 million every year, while homelessness continues to rise. Kevin will reform our system and take an entirely new approach to building housing for homeless Angelenos. On the City Council, Kevin will:

  • SET HARD TIMELINES for building emergency shelters and long-term housing.
  • TERMINATE WASTEFUL CONTRACTS and redirect that money to construction.
  • REPRIORITIZE DOLLARS to build new shelters and add shelter beds.
  • RESTRUCTURE LAHSA to focus on building housing units.
  • PLUG THE BUDGET LEAKS that divert millions of dollars to duplicative efforts.

3 STEPS TO BUILD HOUSING FAST

1

IMMEDIATE CONSTRUCTION

We need an approach that builds affordable housing, permanent supportive housing, and emergency shelters with unparalleled urgency. Kevin will introduce a motion on his first day on the City Council to give all homeless housing projects top priority for approval so we can break ground immediately.

2

CUT RED TAPE

Cumbersome bureaucracy and the lengthy permitting process for new housing or shelter projects have dramatically slowed down the development of housing for our homeless community. Kevin will create a list of preapproved structures to improve the speed, efficiency, and affordability of new construction.

3

BUILD SMART: PRIORITIZE VALUE & VOLUME

With the funding provided by taxpayers, Los Angeles is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on every new unit of housing we build. Kevin will prioritize projects that build more units for less money, and limit the cost per unit, so that we can house more people, faster.

Homelessness is rising rapidly in Los Angeles, and our efforts to build housing for the homeless are not keeping pace. Even if the city accomplishes its current housing goals, we will not build housing fast enough to keep pace with the increasing homeless population. Kevin believes we need to build more housing, fast. Kevin will repurpose unused existing assets owned by the City of Los Angeles to address the problem quickly.

IDENTIFY AND USE VACANT CITY PROPERTIES

Our city government owns acres of land across Los Angeles that could be used now. The high cost of land in Los Angeles is a major barrier to construction and affordability — so we should put vacant land to work. Kevin will partner with city departments and agencies to identify every viable parcel of vacant land to build permanent supportive housing and emergency shelters.

TRANSFORM EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURE

Vacant structures owned by the city must be safely repurposed to house our neighbors experiencing homelessness. Kevin will work to rapidly transform vacant city buildings so we can house more Angelenos as quickly as possible.

PREVENTING HOMELESSNESS

Invest in Creative Leasing Programs

Kevin will work to invest more resources in “Master Leasing” programs that allow struggling families to lease from the city using federal and state subsidies. These programs have proven successful at helping families stay in their homes.

Support Working Families

As Senate President, Kevin led the fight for a $15 per hour minimum wage. He will continue to fight alongside workers to make sure they are paid fairly and treated with dignity and respect to keep more of our neighbors from falling into homelessness.

Fight for State and Federal Benefit Increases

Kevin will work closely with state and federal partners to increase the value of Section 8 vouchers and other federal benefits to help families living on the edge keep a roof over their heads.

EXPAND ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

Building shelters and housing will bring Angelenos indoors, but special attention must be paid to those whose mental or physical health keeps them in a constant state of homelessness. Chronic homelessness — when someone has been homeless for a year, or repeatedly throughout their life — increased by 17% in the last year alone. Kevin will focus on shelters and housing opportunities that include trauma-informed wraparound services tailored to support the complex needs of those struggling with mental illness, physical disabilities, or substance use disorders.

CREATE SMARTER ZONING LAWS

While the city’s population has more than doubled since the 1970s the city’s zoning hasn’t. Thoughtful rezoning can help lower housing costs. Kevin will work closely with neighborhood and community leaders to create more affordable housing, including making it easier to build secondary units and “granny flats.”