As part of his “A Way Home” initiative to create 25,000 new homeless housing units by 2025, Councilman Kevin de Leon introduced a motion Wednesday to direct all city departments to report on the feasibility of using land they own to create temporary or permanent homeless housing.
“The city owns an enormous amount of land throughout its almost 470 square miles of territory. While much of this land is utilized for libraries, parks, police stations and fire stations, a sizable amount of land is unused or underutilized,” de Leon said in the motion, which was seconded by Councilwoman Nithya Raman.
De Leon noted that previous reports have shown that not much city land is available for use, but he said that the city should look through “a new lens that is focused solely on the technical and financial aspects of building homeless housing — not future uses or plans.”
The motion would also direct the Department of General Services to evaluate leases of city facilities to determine if they can be modified to provide space for homeless housing. In addition, the motion would direct the Department of Recreation and Parks to report on all of its parcels that are not restricted for park purposes.
The motion calls for the reports to be submitted to City Council within 30 days of the motion being adopted.
Using city land would address an issue that De Leon said is often cited as a challenge to housing the homeless: the costly and time-consuming nature of acquiring land to house people in Los Angeles.
On Tuesday, De Leon unveiled his plan to create 25,000 new homeless housing units by 2025.
The plan involves several motions that aim to revamp city policies and change regulations that hold-up housing unit construction.
“Sadly, our great city has lacked what I call a ‘Northstar,’ a clearly defined objective, and a timeline for achieving that objective. By introducing a comprehensive plan, we are providing a way for the people we represent to hold us accountable for delivering results,” de Leon said.
“Our Northstar must be a goal around which everyone — city, county, state, and federal partners — will organize and work to achieve. That is why today, I am introducing ‘A Way Home’ — a plan that unites all of us around a common objective: building a path to ending the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles.”
Motions introduced Wednesday include:
— having the Housing and Community Investment Department report on the creation of a Renters Relief Registry, which would include a ranking system to score applicants;
— having the Department of Building and Safety, in coordination with several other departments, develop an expedited permitting process for projects building the most amount of permanent supportive and affordable housing;
— having the Bureau of Engineering, in coordination with several other departments, create a limited set of standard plans for modular multi-family homeless and affordable housing, bungalow courts and accessory dwelling units; and
— having City Council adopt the creation of 25,000 new units by 2025 as the city’s homeless housing goal.
Motions introduced Tuesday include:
— having the Chief Administrative Officer and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority develop metrics to determine if hotels and motels can be turned into temporary and permanent homeless housing;
— having various departments evaluate how other California jurisdictions have developed design standards for shelters;
— having the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department report on Proposition HHH-funded projects’ statuses and how it compares to their statuses when they were awarded letters of commitment; and
— having the Los Angeles City Attorney report legal options for withdrawing letters of commitment for Proposition HHH-funded projects.
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