LA’s homeless population grew by 23% last year

Authorities blame rent increases and the loss of rent-controlled units

Jun.June 01, 2017 09:40 AM
A homeless man in Pomona (Credit: Getty)

Los Angeles County’s homeless population grew by 23 percent last year to nearly 58,000 homeless residents, according to a report by the L.A. Homeless Services Authority.

In L.A. City, the number of homeless people grew by 20 percent to 34,189. Homelessness rose most in Antelope Valley and eastern L.A. County, which both posted 50 percent increases.

The L.A. Homeless Services Authority, a joint agency between the county and the city, cited drastic rent increases and the loss of rent-controlled units as major factors contributing to the region’s growing homelessness problem, the Los Angeles Business Journal reported.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement that the numbers were not surprising considering L.A.’s affordable housing shortage, mental health crisis and the lack of support for for veterans and ex-felons returning to society.

Still, L.A. has also seen a rise in the number of formerly homeless people that have since moved into permanent housing. In 2016, 14,214 people were housed — a 30 percent uptick from 2015.

Two homelessness initiatives passed in recent months — Measure H and Proposition HHH — are expected to aggressively tackle the epidemic, funneling millions of dollars every year into additional permanent housing, supportive services, and rental subsidies. [LABJ]Cathaleen Chen

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