LA City Council votes to create 25,000 units of homeless housing by 2025

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles City Council Tuesday voted to create 25,000 new housing units for the homeless by 2025 as part of Councilmember Kevin De Leon's "A Way Home" initiative.

The motion, which passed 13-0, was introduced by De Leon. It seeks to create resources including but not limited to permanent supportive housing and Project Homekey, as well as scattered site housing, tiny homes and safe parking, and other resources that don't qualify for the city's regional housing needs assessment goal as required by the state.

De Leon said he understands people's frustrations of not seeing bona fide results in stamping out homelessness on the heels of billions of dollars in funds raised through the voter-approved measure HHH several years ago.

"The city of L.A. can hold us accountable now because we must produce come hell or high water, by hook or crook in some form way or shape those 25,000 units by the year 2025," De Leon said.

MORE | This CA city's approach to help homeless could be model for others
EMBED More News Videos

The nonprofit group LifeMoves in Northern California has created an interim housing community on a site that was previously used as a car storage facility.

The legislation doesn't set consequences for not fulfilling the goal or provide funding for the units, but De Leon said if the City Council doesn't add 25,000 units by 2025 then voters can hold them "on the hook" and vote them out of office.

"We are seeking all creative solutions possible to address the problem, but we got to do more and we got to do it quicker," said Councilmember Curren Price.

The city council is eager to use some of the billions dollars in funding coming from the federal government to help stamp out the homelessness crisis.

"There's an allocation of $12 billion that's coming down the pipeline for the next two years," De Leon said.

De Leon says some of that money can be used by creative minds to find ways to alleviate delays and cost overruns to get the ball moving faster on creating more housing for the homeless.

"We can take advantage of all the vacancies through master leasing," De Leon said. "We can do adaptive re-use by purchasing old buildings and converting them right away."

MORE | Nonprofit takes unorthodox approach to help SoCal homeless

EMBED More News Videos

Many organizations try to help or house the homeless, but one local nonprofit is using what may be seen as an unorthodox approach. Instead of a housing-first model, the organization focuses on harm reduction, by first meeting someone where they are physically and mentally.

The councilman says when it comes not only to the homeless crisis, but also the mental health dilemma, the city must have continued support from Washington.

"Everyone's on the hook," De Leon said. "If anyone believes that it's the City Council's exclusive responsibility to deal with schizophrenia, bipolar (disorder), to deal with deep entrenched systemic and generational poverty or dealing with structural racism, they are delusional. That's why our friends in Congress have to step up and if not, they need to step out, because it's all hands on deck today."

City News Service contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.