Mayor Eric Garcetti Friday joined a news conference with Rep. Maxine Waters and U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge to discuss the $5 billion allocated through American Rescue Plan to states, tribal areas and local governments to address homelessness.
The funding will be given to 651 grantees, and the city of Los Angeles is slated to receive $99.89 million, according to Garcetti’s office.
“With the robust funding, along with additional emergency rental vouchers that HUD will soon announce, communities across the country will have the resources needed to give homes to the people who have had to endure the COVID-19 pandemic without one,” Fudge said.
Garcetti spoke about the work L.A. is doing to address funding, including the nearly $1 billion allocated for the issue in his budget proposal for the next fiscal year. But he also noted that the problem is bigger than individual cities and must be met with a federal response.
“For too long, we haven’t treated this like the catastrophic emergency that it is, but thanks to this administration and thanks to the loud voices of state leaders too, we finally have literally gotten a FEMA-level response to a FEMA-level crisis,” he said.
He said the city would use the federal funding to “double down” on its Project Homekey initiative, which provides people experiencing homelessness with longterm housing in hotels and motels, as well as other programs for housing people in shelters and trailers.
“There’s no sugarcoating the streets of Los Angeles and so many American cities … we’ve got to end America’s addiction to poverty, and there’s no place we see that addiction as desperately articulated as on streets and in cars and shelters across America.”
Waters, D-Los Angeles, who serves as chairwoman of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, said one of her main priorities is to address the homelessness crisis across the U.S.
“Over half a million people across the country experience homelessness on any given night, and the pandemic has only worsened the crisis,” she said.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and San Francisco Mayor London Breed spoke about homelessness in their regions, which are also receiving federal funding through the American Rescue Plan.