Democratic Los Angeles mayor Karen Bass announced that she would request a record $1.3 billion in funding to address the city’s homeless crisis during her first State of the City address Monday, according to the Associated Press.
Bass said part of the funds would be used to buy hotels and motels that would then be converted into housing for the homeless while the city looks through its property inventory for locations that could be used as homeless shelters, according to the AP. The mayor added that part of the funding would be used to provide beds for the homeless population that struggles with substance abuse but did not say how many beds.
“After years of frustration, we can see a clearer path to a new Los Angeles,” Bass said during the address, according to the AP. “We have finally dispelled the myth that people do not want to come inside. They do,” she added.
. @MayorOfLA says her 1st budget as Mayor includes a $250-million-dollar investment to scale Inside Safe citywide. Bass notes her budget includes an unprecedented $1.3B investment to accelerate momentum on homelessness. @knxnews pic.twitter.com/tw46cIgOSl
— Margaret Carrero (@KNXmargaret) April 18, 2023
Bass added that Los Angeles has been promised 500 units of temporary housing from California Democratic governor Gavin Newsom and received $200 million from the Biden Administration for homeless programs, according to the AP. She also took the opportunity to tout that Inside Safe, her signature program addressing homelessness by sending people, already has over 1,000 enrollees.
Last year, while the homeless death rate jumped to five deaths per day, the city utilized only 6% of emergency housing vouchers to combat the homeless crisis, letting thousands go unused, according to the Los Angeles Times. At her December 2022 inauguration, Bass declared a homelessness state of emergency.
Democratic city controller Kevin Mejia has recently raised other issues the city should invest in, such as poor infrastructure and high retiree pension costs, according to the AP. The crime rate for Los Angeles has also dramatically risen in recent years, including a 45% increase in homicides from 2019 to 2022, according to city statistics.
Karen Bass and Kevin Mejia’s offices did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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