My Takeaways from Phil Ansell’s Presentation on Housing for the Homeless to the CCALAC Policy Café
Phil Ansell is the Director of the LA County Homeless Initiative. There are three dimensions of the homeless problem: lack of supportive housing units, lack of supportive services, and lack of affordable housing generally.
There are about 55,000 homeless in LA County – a decline from prior year’s due to the city and county’s concerted efforts. https://www.lahsa.org/homeless-count/ Veteran’s homelessness is down 18%, chronic homelessness is down 16% and overall homelessness is down 3%.
The first is the lack of an adequate supply of supportive housing for the homeless with severe behavioral or physical health conditions. This is housing for the chronic long term homeless. That shortage is about 15,000 units, and Prop HHH from the City of Los Angeles will dedicate the funds to meet that shortage over a ten year period. Construction has begun. https://urbanize.la/post/here-are-measure-hhh-projects-scheduled-construction-2018
The second is the lack of funding for supportive services to eliminate homelessness. Proposition H for the County of Los Angeles is the funding source for this effort. Over the past nine months, over 10,000 individuals have entered crisis, bridge or supportive housing and over 5,000 families and individuals have secured permanent housing. https://hacollab.weebly.com/dashboards.html
The third is the lack of an adequate supply of affordable housing generally in all of Los Angeles. That shortage is 500,000 units. It is causing rents to rise stratospherically and renters to lose their apartments because they can no longer afford their burgeoning rents. http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-lopez-renters-struggle-06042017-story.html
Solving this problem will require new housing development and zoning changes on a large scale. https://www.lewis.ucla.edu/2017/12/new-research-briefs-isnt-enough-affordable-housing-la/ This requires developers and cities to move rapidly to build new housing, and all of us to curb our natural NIMBY instincts and embrace more housing development and better transportation services.
Prepared by: Lucien Wulsin