Homelessness and Housing

homeless_rectLos Angeles County is facing a severe housing crisis. Median rents in the County increased by 25 percent between 2000 and 2012, while the median income declined by 9 percent. In addition, housing reports have revealed that the County lacks 500,000 affordable housing options to accommodate the growing number of low and extremely-low income households. Since 2013, the County’s homelessness count has increased by 12 percent.

The County needs to preserve its current stock of low-income housing, while at the same time increase the number of new affordable homes. Supervisor Solis supports increasing funding to federal programs that address the County’s housing crisis. She supports such housing assistance programs as the HOME Investments Partnerships Program, the Community Development Block Grant Program, and the Housing Choice Vouchers Program, which help individuals from various socio-economic levels buy homes.

She also calls for the modernization of the County’s Public Housing program, which provides quality, public housing. The Supervisor supports a “housing first” approach for those experiencing homelessness, meaning those requiring shelter should be provided permanent housing as quickly as possible, while being afforded access to any additional services they may need without having to meet stringent sobriety or treatment requirements. Studies have shown that the “housing first” approach can reduce chronic homelessness and can help local governments save money.

Supervisor Solis also supports such health and housing programs as Project 50 and the Housing for Health program administered by the County Department of Health Services. She also believes in the broad deployment of shared assessment tools, such as the Coordinated Entry System (CES), which helps social workers find homeless individuals, add them to a shared database, and then match them with available housing that meets their needs to ensure that the most vulnerable are swiftly placed in permanent supportive housing.

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