Dem Mayor Pleads That The Wealthy Buy Houses For The Homeless

( – In 2023, the Los Angeles Housing Services Authority released its annual report showing a 9% increase in homelessness in LA County and a 10% surge in the city year-over-year. At the time, the LAHSA’s chief executive officer, Dr. Va Lecia Adams Kellum, called the situation a “crisis.” Recently, the city’s mayor made an unusual request to help deal with the issue.

On April 15, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass (D) reiterated homelessness as a problem in her city. She said there were more than 40,000 homeless people in crisis. During a recent speech, Bass asked “the most fortunate” in the community to help the city buy “more properties, lower the cost of capital, and speed up housing.” The effort would require pooling “personal, private sector, and philanthropic funds.”

The mayor’s Inside Safe program already moved more than 21,000 people from the streets and into homeless shelters, but there are many more homeless individuals and families to help. Bass said her “strategy” has been working, but they want to quicken the process by calling on wealthy individuals and such in the community to pitch in a new project — LA4LA. She said building a new system that goes beyond “nightly rentals” will “save lives.” The new program will involve buying buildings to create affordable housing opportunities for those less fortunate in Los Angeles.

Westside Coalition CEO Darci Niva liked the plan. Her group represents 80 different agencies that address housing, health, and hunger issues in and around the city. She said more support is needed to help the homeless, and contributions from those with “an abundance of money” would help greatly. Niva said, “We need everyone at the table.”

Bass’ office said she will reveal more about her LA4LA plan soon and reveal who in the community is already willing to participate. It’s unclear how long it would take for the program to get up and running.

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