LA Mayor Asks Wealthy Residents to Help Buy Housing For the Homeless

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass pleaded with “the most fortunate” to help fund housing for the homeless as part of a new strategy to tackle the crisis during her State of the City address this week.

“We will not hide people but what we will do is house people,” the Democratic leader said. “The crisis on our streets is nothing less than a disaster.”

Bass bragged about her signature Inside Safe program, which reportedly moved over 21,000 homeless people into temporary shelters.

She claimed this “strategy” and “system” moving the homeless into temporary housing would eventually end the homelessness problem in the city.

Bass said she needed the assistance of wealthy people in the city to “speed up” the initiative.

“Right now, we’re working to move past nightly rentals,” she continued. “We are asking the most fortunate Angelenos to participate in this effort, with personal, private sector and philanthropic funds – to help us acquire more properties, lower the cost of capital and speed up housing.”

“This is the mission of our new capital campaign, LA4LA.”

The new program will depend on the “humanity and generosity of the private sector,” Bass added.

“LA4LA can be a sea change for Los Angles, an unprecedented partnership to confront this emergency, an example of disrupting the status quo to build a new system to save lives.”

Earlier this month, a state audit revealed California spent $24 billion over the past five years to combat homelessness without consistently tracking whether the massive expenditure improved the situation.

Despite the significant investment in more than 30 homeless and housing programs between the fiscal years 2018 and 2023, the state lacked reliable data to fully comprehend why the problem persisted in many areas, according to the state auditor’s report.

“The state must do more to assess the cost-effectiveness of its homelessness programs,” State Auditor Grant Parks wrote in a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom and lawmakers.

The audit analyzed five programs that received a combined $13.7 billion in funding. It found that only two programs were “likely cost-effective”: one converting hotel and motel rooms into housing and another providing housing assistance to prevent families from becoming homeless.

Under the $3.6-billion program converting hotel and motel rooms, which is a key element of Newsom’s homelessness plan, the average cost of a room was at least 2.5 times cheaper than building a new home. The housing assistance program, receiving $760 million over five years, provided $12,000 to $22,000 per family, significantly less than the cost of services once a person becomes homeless.

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