Los Angeles Mayor Implores Wealthy People to Buy Housing for Homeless

Los Angeles Mayor Implores Wealthy People to Buy Housing for Homeless
  • PublishedApril 17, 2024

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass had a straightforward solution to the city’s homelessness crisis: dependence on the “humanity and generosity of the private sector.”

In Bass’s State of the City address, the mayor announced the LA4LA initiative, which will lean on the city’s wealthy to house the over 40,000 homeless.

“We are asking the most fortunate Angelinos to participate in this effort with the personal, private sector, and philanthropic funds to help us acquire more properties, lower the cost of capital, and speed up housing,” Bass said.

Bass said those funds will go to master leasing and purchasing motels and hotels, as well as the permanent housing that has already been built.

The city is hoping that spending capital, which Bass hopes could come from some of the city’s residents, on the homeless will ultimately reduce a heavy financial burden of “thousands and thousands of fire, paramedic and police calls.” Bass also lamented the opportunity cost of the homeless crisis – a cost that occurs when tourists skip out on LA and employees and employers leave downtown.

Darci Niva, the CEO of Westside Coalition, which represents 80 government, social service and faith-based agencies in California addressing housing, hunger and health, told NBC Los Angeles she was impressed by the plan, but that workers need more support and resources to aid the homeless.

“If they’re giving all that they have, we just hope that those that have an abundance of money would contribute,” she said. “That would help us tremendously.”’

Bass had a previous program deemed Inside Safe that placed 2,600 people indoors, and the mayor said that the homelessness program is still evolving.

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