Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Los Angeles, Friday introduced the Prevent Homelessness Act, a bill intended to put $500 million annually into a fund to help keep people in their homes.

The bill would authorize grant money to be used to cover expenses such as rent, utilities, legal services and other short-term payments deemed to contribute to increasing housing stability.

“Homelessness has been a major challenge for our community for decades, and the current global pandemic and resulting damage to our economy has only made things worse,” Lieu said. “But this is not just a problem for our state or region. Homelessness is a national crisis and requires a national response. The Prevent Homelessness Act would help to stop people from becoming homeless in the first place.”

The homeless population in Los Angeles continued to grow over the past several years, according to the 2020 Greater L.A. Homeless Count in January that recorded more than 66,000 people living on the streets, in shelters and in vehicles around the county, a 12.7% increase from the year before.

“As one of the largest homeless service providers in California, PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) commends Congressman Lieu for introducing The Prevent Homelessness Act, which gets to the root of this complicated issue by creating a Housing Stabilization Fund,” said Jennifer Hark Dietz, executive director of PATH.

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