Los Angeles Declares State of Emergency on Homelessness

The L.A. City Council Prepares to Get Citizens Off the Streets

On September 22, the Los Angeles City Council declared a state of emergency on homelessness. The council is pushing for $100 million to aid in the crisis reports CNN. The city’s mayor, Eric Garcetti, is also calling for an additional $13 million to help house people living on the streets for the long term. According to a Los Angeles Times report, it is still unclear as to where the money will come from or exactly how it will be used. 

The city council declared the emergency citing a shortage of affordable housing and lack of a public emergency shelter. The homeless population in Los Angeles has also jumped 12 percent in the last two years.  With an estimated 25,000 people on the streets, Los Angeles has one of the largest homeless populations in the country, many residing on Skid Row. The proposal is calling for a streamlined process for affordable housing by making it easier to get proper permits. It would also ease restrictions on churches and nonprofit groups that shelter the homeless and provide safe parking. The council must still vote to approve the proposal.

 “We need to act like it’s an emergency,” said councilman Gil Cedillo, chairman of the city’s housing committee. “We can’t do business as usual.”

In addition to the one-time $100 million funding proposed by the council, Mayor Garcetti is seeking an annual $100 million to fund permanent housing for the homeless and to set up a foundation dedicated to the issue, his office said.