L.A. Business Council and Enterprise Community Partners Convene Working Group Focused on Urgent Solutions to Address Homelessness

Top priorities include advancing mandate to end homelessness and streamlining housing solutions

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (February 13, 2020) —The Los Angeles Business Council, together with affordable housing nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise), is launching a coalition in support of a series of proposals issued by the Governor’s Council of Regional Homeless Advisors. Led by Richard Ziman, Chairman of Rexford Industrial and LABC Founder, and Jacqueline Waggoner, Vice President & Southern California Market Leader for Enterprise, the group is focused on establishing public-private partnerships to eliminate homelessness statewide.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg will serve as honorary co-chairs for the new working group. Both Ridley-Thomas and Steinberg also lead the Governor’s homelessness task force and have championed the issue statewide. The LABC-and Enterprise-led coalition also includes business leaders, non-profit executives, and policy experts.

“Homelessness is the most important issue right now in Los Angeles and in California,” said Ziman. “We need to act quickly and urgently to address this crisis head on. Creating a unified voice from the Los Angeles region will allow us to have a voice in Sacramento.”

At their inaugural meeting on Jan. 29, the group identified a series of priorities that will guide their action moving forward. An immediate priority is to help identify private funding to support the deployment of 30 trailers across two sites in L.A. County provided by the State of California.  The 30 trailers, scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles in February, were most recently used in the wake of the 2018 Camp Fire in Butte County.

The working group will also coalesce support around State Assembly Bill 1907 (Santiago), which aims to accelerate and streamline the development statewide of  affordable and supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness.

Longer term, the group will advance the creation of an enforceable, results-based accountability mandate to end homelessness. The mandate will entail a ballot measure amending the state constitution to require cities to provide housing for those experiencing homeless. In anticipation of a ballot measure, the group will back a proposed pilot program in L.A. County to test the accountability mandate on a smaller scale. Both initiatives are outlined in the interim report from the Governor’s Council of Regional Homeless Advisors.

The LABC has been engaged in affordable housing and homelessness for years, most recently releasing a public opinion poll in partnership with the Los Angeles Times that found voters nearly unanimously view homelessness as the single most pressing issue we are facing as a region.

“The homelessness crisis continues to worsen, and our solutions have not kept pace with the problem,” said LABC President Mary Leslie. “This working group is prepared to support more aggressive, fundamental changes to our current policy approach in order to match the scale of the problem.”

In addition to Enterprise, the working group includes senior executives from companies such as Trammell Crow Company, CBRE, Gensler, Mercy Housing California, Inner City Law Center and United Way.

“We emerged from our inaugural meeting with a clear path forward,” said Waggoner, “I have complete faith that the dedicated people in that room have the resources and drive to execute these goals to meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness more urgently.”

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