A dramatic surge in homelessness in Los Angeles in 2019 will be announced next week, defying every promise made by the Garcetti Administration. Officials called off tonight’s expected release of last year’s homeless count — widely said to show a big jump — until Tuesday June 4.
According to various inside sources, L.A. could see double-digits when the 2019 numbers are released.
In 2017, homeless numbers sharply increased to more than 34,000 — up 20 percent from 2015. That surge was followed by a much-questioned claim that homeless numbers dropped in 2018 in L.A. Now, we could see double-digits when the numbers for 2019 are released next week.
“This strongly suggests that efforts by the City of Los Angeles, led by Mayor Garcetti, are failing,” said Coalition to Preserve L.A. Executive Director Jill Stewart. “We have seen a clear pattern of focusing more effort on political instead of practical solutions.”
As we have reported repeatedly, even though voters approved $1.2 billion via Measure HHH in 2016, the Garcetti Administration has failed to construct a single unit of the 10,000 promised permanent supportive housing units.
Garcetti’s key political policy —blaming neighborhoods for opposing the city’s often poorly thought-out temporary shelter locations — has effectively masked his administration’s excruciatingly slow approvals for permanent housing, weighed down by inter-departmental politics and strong resistance to innovation.
The missing sense of emergency is creating a worsening humanitarian crisis in our wealthy city, which is bursting with a budget of more than $10 billion.
In 2018-2019, Angelenos spent $440 million to address homelessness, a big leap from 2017-18, including $275 million from Measure HHH funds and another $238 million for 1,500 housing units, other facilities, outreach and sanitation.
Yet the city has been unable to open a single unit of the promised 10,000.