The 21st annual Mayoral Housing, Transportation & Jobs Summit takes place Friday at the UCLA campus where Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, community partners and state leaders are to discuss the housing crisis and other topics.
Affordable housing and homelessness affect nearly every Angelino in one way or another and for those who say nothing is being done, Mayor Bass responded, “I agree not enough has been done. But to say nothing has been done. That’s absolutely wrong.”
As the mayor made her way into the day-long summit, which was hosted by The Los Angeles Business Council,KCAL News reporter Tena Ezzeddine questioned Bass about the homeless and housing solutions. The mayor immediately pointed out the memorandum signed yesterday with the White House, bringing in extra support and resources through the ALL INside initiative.
The new plan launched Thursday as part of the Biden administration’s larger goal to reduce homelessness 25% by 2025. The ALL INside initiative partners the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness and its 19 federal member agencies with other local governments in Chicago, Dallas, Seattle and Phoenix as well.
So what do you do when you’ve got 47,000 people homeless on the streets? And you’ve got 15 different districts also facing this problem in Los Angeles?
Bass said with the council’s support on the budget, the goal is to begin purchasing some of the hotels and motels that have been housing the homeless and also to use master leasing of motels. “That brings down the cost but ultimately, we have to come up with permanent interim housing,” said Bass.
“But even if you build it as fast as possible, it still takes months … and money. But the other thing is, is that the governor promised to send us 500 units of interim housing. So that’s the other thing we were in Sacramento talking to him about. We want him to hold that promise.”
As far as the national plan of reducing homelessness by 25% in two years, Bass said she is encouraging the Biden administration to hyper-focus on Los Angeles, which would really impact the national numbers.
“In 2026, we’re going to have the World Cup here. The world is coming to Los Angeles. We cannot have 47,000 people on the streets,” said Bass. “The bottom line is you just can’t hide 47,000 people. Think about business owners, residents and think about the people in the tents – 2,000 of them lost their lives last year.”