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Homelessness is the crisis of our time. Read about my motion to bring a FEMA-like response.
This crisis is decades in the making. It won't be fixed overnight, or solved with housing alone. But if we all get involved - from communities, to Council Districts, to our City, County, State and Federal governments - we can build lasting solutions that get people off the street and on a path towards hope.
We need to approach this crisis from all sides. That's why I have proposed a three-prong approach to our homelessness crisis.
Prong 1: Build Housing for Those Currently Experiencing Homelessness
First and foremost, we need housing for the folks currently living on the street or in their cars. Before you can receive services, get proper counselling, or rebuild your life - you need a roof over your head. That's why I have been committed to bringing all kinds of housing - from emergency beds to permanent supportive housing - to Council District Four, with five different projects either open, under construction, or in the pipeline:
Partially Open: LGBT Center's Anita May Rosenstein Campus
Now Open: Wallis House by Aviva
I am always seeking more locations to build homeless housing & resources in Council District Four. If you know any possible locations, let me know through this Google Form.
Prong 2: Preserve & Produce Affordable and Moderate Income Housing
If we don't solve our affordable housing crisis, homelessness is only going to continue. While we build bridge and supportive housing, we also need to support those living on the edge - folks who are spending more than half their income on rent, families who can't cover an unexpected bill or take time off to spend with their kids, and every day Angelenos who deserve to live in the City where they work.
Changes how the Ellis Act is enforced in Los Angeles, increasing tenant relocation assistance and raising the affordable housing requirement.
Expands the City’s ability to protect Rent-Stabilized Housing from destruction.
Establishes a definition for middle-income Angelenos in the City’s Planning Department, and creates specific incentives to spur more middle-income housing.
Seeks reform to the California Renter’s Tax Credit to provide more relief to more rent burdened households.
We also need the State to reform laws like Costa Hawkins and the Ellis Act to stop displacement and unfair rent hikes.
It's also crucial that every renter know the type of housing they live in, and their rights from unfair treatment or eviction. Learn more about Renter's rights here.
Prong 3: Expand Access to Critical Resources & Mental Health
I spent 15 years working in mental healthcare before entering office, and I know firsthand how mental health, addiction and homelessness intersect. We can't just connect people to housing, but to counseling, treatment and services that help them get their life back on track.
That's why I have joined the County Board of Supervisors in calling for reform to Grave Disability Law, so that our first responders can actually help those suffering from a grave mental illness, rather than allowing a mental health crisis to persist on our City streets.
I have also called for a Conservatorship program in Los Angeles that will allow those too sick to care for themselves to receive proper care and the help they need.
It's also why I am ensuring that every homeless housing facility we build in Council District Four provides access to quality mental healthcare.
Together, we can end homelessness - but we need to address this crisis from all sides, and with the focus and determination it requires. If you believe in our three-prong approach and are ready to get involved, let us know.
Trees not only add beauty to our neighborhoods and quality to our daily lives, they provide a home for our local wildlife and are nature's greatest tool for cooling our City, cleaning our air and combating climate change. As we face a warming climate and increasing pollution, we need more trees, not less - and we need a comprehensive set of tree policies and long-range strategies to get us there. Los Angeles currently has one of the largest and most diverse urban canopies in the world - but it needs protecting. If we want our trees to be here tomorrow, we need to start prioritizing them today.
Let's get started.