LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles City Council approved a pair of ordinances Wednesday aimed at speeding the creation of housing for the homeless and encouraging the conversion of motels into supportive housing.
The ordinances are the latest in a series of moves designed to combat homelessness, which rose by 20 percent in the city last year to more than 34,000 people.
Councilman Mike Bonin said the ordinances approved Wednesday “finally remove some of the annoying and frustrating roadblocks to progress — the laws that have been in place, the restrictions that have been in place — that have made urgent action difficult, if not impossible.”
One ordinance is aimed at converting some of the city’s hotels or motels into temporary or supportive housing for the homeless by easing zoning requirements and speeding the approval process, as long as all the units are affordable and at least half of them are available for homeless people.
The second ordinance cuts parking requirements and streamlines the approval process for permanent supportive housing projects with 120 units or more in much of the city and 200 or more in the downtown area. The ordinance allows such projects to skip the normal review and hearing process if they meet certain requirements, among them that all of the units be affordable and at least half be set aside for homeless people.
Both of the ordinances were approved on 13-0 votes but still require the signature of Mayor Eric Garcetti. The mayor said he intends to sign them both on Thursday.
“This crisis demands that we look at using every available resource — and cut as much time as we can out of the construction timeline — for housing that we need now,” Garcetti said. “I am proud to stand with my council colleagues, and look forward to signing these ordinances into law so we can get to work.'”
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