Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says he hopes to reach a preliminary agreement with the Trump administration on a joint plan to help combat the city’s swelling homelessness crisis when he meets with Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson Friday, it was reported.
Garcetti said Thursday a final deal was still days or weeks away but expressed optimism that the two sides were making progress toward an agreement to provide federal resources, including land, to augment local efforts to erect more shelter space for people living on the streets, the Los Angeles Times reported from Washington D.C.
“I hope we’ll get very close,” Garcetti said on the sidelines of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ annual meeting in Washington.
Citing the negotiations, Garcetti would not say how much money the Trump administration might contribute. But he said the federal aid would not match the hundreds of millions of dollars spent at the local level.
Garcetti also said he could not yet publicly say where temporary shelters would be located. But he added that federal officials had visited sites in L.A. County including property owned by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“There*s surplus property that they have all over, so I think they looked at everything,” he said.
Garcetti’s aides met with Carson’s staff this week following months of phone calls and site visits. A HUD spokesperson confirmed the scheduled meeting between Garcetti and Carson.
In his comments to the mayors’ conference, Garcetti downplayed hopes of a massive federal aid package to helps cities and states fight homelessness.
“There’s no cavalry coming from Washington,” he said. “But we will not solve this locally without our state capitals and our nation’s capital.”
Garcetti faces intense pressure to find housing for the city’s burgeoning homeless population. Despite his aspirations for higher office as a Democrat, he has been eager to court help from the Trump administration as the crisis has worsened.
President Trump, a Republican, threatened for months to take action without consulting the city. But he has struck a more cooperative tone in recent weeks as it became clear federal officials could do little without local cooperation, The Times reported.
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