City Councilman Bob Blumenfield announced Friday that homeless people living under two west San Fernando Valley freeway underpasses will be moved into available rapid rehousing units by Nov. 16.

A Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority pilot program will help transients who live under the Winnekta Avenue and Corbin Avenue underpasses into housing.

“I am thrilled that LAHSA has expanded the program to include the Corbin underpass, as it is inextricably linked to the Winnetka underpass,” Blumenfield said. “The goal is to house folks and then — pursuant to (U.S. District) Judge (David O.) Carter’s determination that it is unsafe to live under the freeways — make sure that these underpasses remain off-limits to future encampments.”

Blumenfield said many of the 33 homeless people identified as living within or near the underpasses frequently move back any forth between the two encampments.

The councilman said the methods Los Angeles will use to keep homeless people from returning to underpasses, once they are cleared, are being considered by the City Attorney’s Office and others.

On June 18, Carter accepted a plan submitted by the county and city of Los Angeles to collaborate and create 6,700 beds to house homeless people who are living near freeways, for people who are 65 or older and for people vulnerable to severe complications due to COVID-19.

The City Council agreed earlier this month to allocate tens of millions of dollars toward homeless housing projects and programs, but also voted to require more oversight of the way the money is spent.

The council voted unanimously to provide $97 million to LAHSA for its rapid rehousing and shared housing programs, but Council President Nury Martinez added an amending motion to make the funding contingent on a monthly progress report on the programs and specifying that it be doled out in increments not to exceed $30 million.

Heidi Marston, LAHSA’s executive director, said the rapid rehousing program is intended to be a permanent solution for homeless people, and she said the agency is tracking where people are being sent for other housing solutions.

LAHSA is trying to get 3,000 homeless people into its rapid rehousing and shared housing programs citywide, Marston said.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.