LA Council wants results before releasing all $100M to house homeless

Council president says homeless services agency “has underperformed in the past”

Heidi Marston and Nury Martinez
Heidi Marston and Nury Martinez

Los Angeles said it will allocate nearly $100 million in federal funds toward housing the homeless, but wants to see results first before it provides all the money.

The L.A. City Council on Wednesday authorized $30 million of that money, and will hold the rest until members are satisfied the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority is effectively using the funds, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Council President Nury Martinez rejected a staff proposal to authorize all of the $97 million, and said the Homeless Services Authority — a city and county agency — needed to be held accountable because it “has underperformed in the past.”

Under her plan, the remaining funds will be disbursed based on the results of regular LAHSA reports to the city. LAHSA will also have to provide information about outreach and collect reports on performance from its contractors.

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The money comes from a federal grant to assist people at risk of Covid-19 and who are experiencing homelessness. As of January, around 66,500 people were homeless across L.A. County, but that number may have jumped in the ensuing months, experts say.

LAHSA is responsible for housing vulnerable people in hotels through the state’s federally-funded Project Roomkey program.

The statewide program has fallen short of its goal of housing 15,000 people in L.A. County, and in June, LAHSA proposed an $800 million, three-year housing program to build bridge housing and fund rental subsidies for the same number of people. [LAT]Dennis Lynch