LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors proposal to identify at least eight motels countywide that could be leased out as interim housing for chronically homeless individuals is moving forward.

The board voted Tuesday in favor of a recommendation by Supervisor Janice Hahn to look into master lease agreements with motels and also whether the same motel parking lots could be used as safe parking sites for homeless people living in their cars or recreational vehicles.

Under the proposal, the lease agreements would allow county outreach workers to offer chronically homeless individuals living in encampments a place to settle in and access support services while waiting for a permanent home.

“By leasing motel rooms in bulk across the county, we can quickly increase the number of interim housing units that we can offer to people as a
comfortable, safe alternative to encampments,” Hahn said.

A cost analysis for the proposal was not immediately available.

A report is expected back in 30 days.

While the county often uses motel vouchers to help homeless individuals, but those rooms are typically secured individually in a more time- and cost-intensive process.

Adding sites to the county’s Safe Parking program would also give more people access to secure overnight parking where they can connect with
services and caseworkers who can help them out of homelessness.

Hahn cited what she called an effective use of the model when Caltrans in Aprial ordered homeless individuals camped in the Whittier Greenbelt to leave the property. A local motel signed a master lease agreement with the county to provide dozens of rooms while caseworkers assisted with long-term solutions.

The proposal calls for identifying one motel to participate in each of the county’s eight geographic regions designated by the Department
of Public Health as Service Planning Areas.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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