Mayor Karen Bass’ office Thursday denied that the city is planning to relocate homeless people to a “village” in the Palmdale area, deflecting concerns by Palmdale City Council members who adopted a resolution opposing any such move by Los Angeles as part of Bass’ emergency declaration on homelessness.
Zach Seidl of Bass’ office called the Palmdale resolution adopted Wednesday night “baseless and misleading.”
“The mayor’s homelessness plan does not and will not involve moving people to Palmdale,” Seidl said. “Her strategy focuses on solutions — not moving or hiding the crisis, but helping people in encampments move into nearby motels and hotels and bringing to bear the services and resources necessary to bring people inside for good.”
The Palmdale City Council voted unanimously Wednesday on a resolution opposing the possible creation of a “homeless village” in the area.
“It’s very clear, very concise. It makes the point known without declaring war on the city of Los Angeles,” City Councilwoman Andrea Alarcon said at the meeting on Wednesday.
The dispute apparently stemmed from an interview Bass gave to the Los Angeles Times during her mayoral campaign last year, during which Palmdale officials say she suggested the possibility of creating a “village” for homeless people on land near Palmdale. According to the Antelope Valley Press, Bass later spoke to a Palmdale council member and disavowed any plans to move homeless people to the area.
But Palmdale council members still requested a resolution to formally oppose the idea, and they approved it Wednesday. The Lancaster City Council took a similar vote in December to oppose “an incursion of homeless people” from Los Angeles, the AV Press reported.
One of the first actions Bass took when she became mayor of Los Angeles was to declare an emergency on homelessness. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors followed by declaring an emergency on homelessness on Tuesday at its meeting. Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath said the decision by the board honors the November mandate from L.A. County voters to, “lead with urgency and transparency to address the homeless crisis in every neighborhood.”
The Long Beach City Council approved an emergency proclamation on homelessness Tuesday night.
The most recent point-in-time homeless count in 2022 revealed nearly 42,000 homeless people in the city of Los Angeles and more than 69,000 in the county.