21 Feb PRESS RELEASE: Los Angeles City Council and United Way Announce Unprecedented Homeless Housing Commitment
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 21, 2018
Los Angeles City Council and United Way Announce Unprecedented Homeless Housing Commitment
LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson and President and CEO of United Way Greater Los Angeles Elise Buik – joined by Councilmembers Bonin, Harris-Dawson, Huizar, Krekorian, and Martinez – announced a citywide initiative to create a minimum of 3,330 supportive housing units across all fifteen council districts. A resolution was introduced at Wednesday’s city council meeting calling on each councilmember to pledge a minimum of 222 Proposition HHH-funded supportive housing units in their district for those experiencing homelessness. United Way will work as a partner to educate, engage, and organize communities across the city in support of this goal, which aims to have all units approved by July 1, 2020.
In November 2016, seventy-seven percent of Angelenos supported Proposition HHH: the Los Angeles Homelessness Reduction and Prevention Housing Bond committing $1.2 billion in bonds towards helping homeless individuals through the construction of supportive housing and homeless service facilities. Wesson, Buik, Bonin, Harris-Dawson, Huizar, Krekorian, and Martinez made the 222 Pledge announcement today at New Genesis Apartments in downtown L.A., where the Proposition HHH campaign was first launched.
“With each councilmember’s pledge, Los Angeles is sending a message: actions speak louder than words in the fight against homelessness,” said Council President Herb Wesson. “Homelessness is not an issue we will solve overnight, but it is one we will continue working on around-the-clock.”
In a statement, Mayor Eric Garcetti spoke of his eagerness to work with the City Council to see this commitment through.
“I applaud the City Council for taking on this challenge,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “The homelessness and affordability crises touch every community in Los Angeles, and I look forward to working closely with my Council colleagues to bridge our housing gap.”
Elise Buik, President & CEO of the United Way of Greater L.A. explained United Way’s role in the 222-per-district goal.
“Homelessness touches every corner of our city, and the solutions must do the same,” said Buik. “United Way is committed to partnering with elected and community leaders across the region to educate, organize, and advocate for the creation of new supportive housing in every city council district.”
Councilmembers Bonin, Harris-Dawson, Huizar, Krekorian, and Martinez all stressed collective action.
“We are not going to solve or even make a significant dent in homelessness unless we are all part of the solution,” said Councilmember Mike Bonin. “All of us — every elected official, every part of the city, every demographic. It’s either all-hands-on-deck, or this ship is going to sink under the weight of this crisis.”
“So many constituents, across the City, want to help, but worry that they are alone,” said Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson. “Today, we are creating a concrete path forward to address homelessness together. Proposition HHH lets us pay for solutions together, the 222 initiative will let us build the solution together.”
“I strongly support this effort to provide homeless housing more equally throughout the City,” said Councilmember Jose Huizar, a co-author of Proposition HHH and a proponent of projects like the New Genesis Skid Row Housing Trust apartments. “While it is true that some council districts like the one I represent have supported a disproportionate amount of similar housing, as the City moves forward with HHH-funded projects, we need our colleagues on the City Council to commit to housing in all communities. One of the great challenges of homelessness that we all face is that it is no longer relegated to a few areas of the city. It is everywhere. Homeless housing with supportive services needs to be equal to that challenge.”
“We’ve all got to do more to tackle homelessness, including building additional permanent supportive housing in every area of the city,” said Councilmember Paul Krekorian. “This plan shows a real commitment to increasing the level of housing and services in our districts, so that we can get thousands of people off the streets and prevent them from falling back into homelessness.”
“Homelessness affects our entire city,” Councilwoman Nury Martinez said. “It’s why, as Councilmembers, we need to work together solve it. No single district or community can or should do it alone. A joint approach and shared responsibility is at the heart of today’s resolution.”