Homeless Crisis Misunderstood by L.A. Times

In Homeless, News by Ileana Wachtel

Thank you to the L.A. Times Editorial Board for its homeless series that focuses our missing-in-action City Hall leadership on L.A.’s humanitarian catastrophe.

We agree that voter approval, 16 long months ago, of $1.2 billion in Measure HHH homeless housing funds was a huge step.

But the Coalition to Preserve LA is among the very rare civic groups who attend almost every HHH Administrative Oversight Committee meeting and HHH Citizen’s Oversight Committee meeting.

We have tracked unbelievable red tape and anti-innovation under Mayor Eric Garcetti and the L.A. City Council. We have seen them turn a crisis into our Katrina.

Yet. The Times editorial series repeatedly blames residents. Some copy-editing is called for. Here, then, are the corrections to the Times series:

L.A. Times: “Politicians who have for too long shamefully shirked their responsibility to address the festering problems … must stop pandering to the vocal minority of residents who object to housing for homeless and low-income people in their neighborhoods.”

Copy correction: “Politicians who have for too long shamefully shirked their responsibility to address the festering problems … must stop blaming residents for their foot-dragging, since very few communities are fighting homeless housing.”
 
L.A. Times: City politicians (who have control over land-use policies) must lead rather than be led by a vocal minority of obstructionist constituents.”

Copy correction: “City politicians (who have control over land-use policies) must lead rather than cater to luxury developers who drive rents sky-high and bid up the land so steeply that non-profits can’t compete.”

L.A. Times: “Every new apartment unit rejected is a family denied an affordable place to live. (Voters) have to be willing to say yes to the housing construction in their neighborhoods. That will, over time, alleviate the shortage.”

Copy correction: “Every existing apartment unit converted to airbnb or condos is a family denied an affordable place to live.(Voters) have to be willing to fight the growing gentrification in their neighborhoods, which will send rents sky-high for 25 years.”*

*According to the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, market-rate housing takes 25 years to trickle down to median-level renters. LAO: “Housing that likely was considered ‘luxury’ when first built declined to the middle of the housing market within 25 years.”

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