The Los Angeles City Council agreed Friday to examine the purchase of 3D printers that can be used to produce materials to build homes for the homeless.
The idea came from Council President Herb Wesson, who said in his motion that homes about 350 square feet in size were successfully built in Texas in about 48 hours, and the structures were equipped with a bathroom, kitchen and living space. A 3D printer working at full capacity could build an 800-square-foot home in the same amount of time, he said.
“A crisis of this degree requires outside-the-box thinking and innovative new ideas,” Wesson said in a statement. “We’re leaving no stone unturned when it comes to finding ways to save costs and increase the speed of housing production and are looking into the potential of 3D-printed housing to do just that.”
Part of the motion expresses support for changing state law to allow counties to seek voter approval of a tax on personal income above $1 million for homeless housing construction. Funding from such a levy cold be used to fund the printers.
A resolution to consider formally supporting such a change in state law is expected to be heard in the City Council’s Housing Committee at a later date.
Wesson said a 0.5% millionaires’ income tax would generate an estimated $243 million per year in Los Angeles County.
The motion also directs multiple departments to collaborate on setting safety standards and ensuring the homes would be up to code.
City voters have previously approved a $1.2 billion bond measure aimed at building more than 10,000 permanent supportive housing units for the city’s 36,000 homeless people. The county has about 59,000 homeless people, according to numbers provided in June by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
In 2016, the county Board of Supervisors approved a resolution supporting putting a millionaire’s tax on the ballot. A poll taken by the county at the time showed 76% of voters supported it.