The City Council voted Friday to explore quickening the process of matching recipients of housing vouchers in Los Angeles with potential housing options.
Delays in matching voucher recipients with housing itself often create the most obstacles to providing permanent housing to those who are unhoused, according to a motion by Councilwoman Nithya Raman.
Last July, less than 6% of the 3,365 vouchers awarded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development to the city resulted in people moving into permanent housing, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Times also reported that the city’s housing authority returned $82 million in federal grants from HUD back to the agency between 2015 and 2020.
Earlier this month, Los Angeles received $60 million in funding from HUD, which is expected to be used on housing vouchers, along with providing deep wraparound services and housing navigation.
Raman’s motion states that around 40% of initial voucher matches don’t result in a lease, but that the housing authority doesn’t usually match multiple clients to each voucher. That leads to a backlog where voucher recipients have to wait for individual matches to play out before another unit is available.
The council called for the housing authority, with the help of the Los Angeles Homelessness Services Authority, report in 30 days on how it will address delays in the voucher process. It suggested that the housing authority adjust its procedures so that it can match multiple clients to each voucher, consolidate processes and be more flexible in rent negotiations.