LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A Los Angeles City Council member is calling on the state to help end the city’s homeless crisis.
The city council earlier this month received the grim numbers from this year’s homeless count. The heartbreaking numbers, which reveal nearly 59,000 people are living on the street, boil down to this: the number of people lifted out of homelessness and into permanent housing has doubled. But, at the same time, on average 17 more people become homeless each and every day.
L.A. City Council member and chair of the city’s Homelessness and Poverty Committee, Mitch O’Farrell, says city and county voters have done their part by passing two measures that bring hundreds of millions of dollars to combat homelessness in L.A. City and L.A. County. Now, he says, it’s time for the state to pony up.
“We’ve put skin in the game — voters, residents — we’ve all put skin in the game here in Los Angeles. We’ve created the systems to produce this housing; now, we need the state to match us,” he said.
Council member O’Farrell is also calling on the state to pass new laws that will allow the city to stabilize rents in newer buildings and prevent owners from demolishing existing rent-stabilized buildings, throwing out their tenants, then building new condominiums which cannot be rent-stabilized.
O’Farrell’s remarks follow just weeks after the county’s 2019 Biennial Homeless Count showed the number of homeless people in L.A. County surged by 12 percent over the last year. Almost three-fourths of those people are sleeping in cars, tents and other makeshift shelters, according to the study.