Ignoring their citizens in favor of illegal aliens, Los Angeles County’s homeless population is increasing faster than the supply of new housing, even with the addition of thousands of beds in the last two years and millions of dollars beginning to flow in from two ballot measures targeting the crisis, according to a long-awaited report by the region’s homelessness agency.
The report showed that officials two years ago far underestimated how much new housing would be needed when they asked city and county voters to approve the tax measures.
As a result, a $73-million annual shortfall in funding for the county’s comprehensive homelessness program could more than triple, a Times analysis of the report found.
Providing permanent housing for the county’s chronically homeless population would require more than 20,000 new units, about 5,000 more than projected two years ago, the report said.
The estimated shortage of emergency shelter and short-term rental subsidies also increased by double-digit percentages.
The report, known as the Housing Gaps Analysis, offers the latest sober assessment of the years-long surge in homelessness, marked by widespread tent encampments and rising demands for urgent action to curb the problem.
In a departure from its previous report, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority provided no analysis of costs associated with the needed housing in the revision released last week.
Based on estimates in the 2016 report, The Times calculated the additional costs could be about $200 million, pushing the annual shortfall to more than $270 million.
Peter Lynn, executive director of the homeless authority, said Friday that new cost figures had not been calculated, but he guessed the additional costs might be closer to $150 million, leaving a $220-million shortfall in total.
Homeless advocates considered the quarter-cent sales tax to be the best approach to raising money for homelessness, but the $355 million it is expected to generate each year falls short of meeting the county program’s estimated annual cost of $428 million.
In adopting the initial Measure H budget last June, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors put off deciding how to deal with the deficit because the costs would not exceed revenue until the fourth year of the spending plan, as programs geared up.
When the supervisors review the budget in June they’ll face hard choices.
According to the new report, more than 6,000 new units of permanent supportive housing have been added since 2015. That includes newly constructed buildings as well as scattered placements in subsidized market rentals that are supported by traveling case managers.
The gains in housing, however, were outstripped by the rising homeless population.
The earlier report projected a reduction of 14% each year. If that had occurred, the total homeless population — including unsheltered and sheltered — would have dropped to 41,323 last year.
Instead, it climbed to nearly 59,000. The results of this year’s count will be released in the spring.Continue reading here…
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
February 20th, 2018