Mayor Bass asks private sector to invest in LA and help solve homelessness

Josh Haskell Image
Thursday, May 9, 2024
Bass asks private sector to invest in LA and help solve homelessness
Mayor Karen Bass is asking the wealthiest Angelenos to step up, saying the city needs the private sector to invest.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A poll conducted for the Los Angeles Business Council Institute in partnership with The L.A. Times surveyed 600 registered voters in the city and found that 74% of those polled who are renters are considering leaving due to the rising cost of housing.

That rise is reflected in the city's growing homeless population, which last year was found to be over 46,000 people.

"We have to figure out how to prevent people from falling into homelessness, and clearly, one of the most important ways is to make housing less expensive," said Bass.

In downtown L.A. Wednesday, Bass addressed the Mission Investors Exchange Conference made up of 700 attendees from the private sector focused on impact investing.

"We're not going to solve this problem, especially to the scale in which we have the problem in L.A, without a public-private partnership," said Bass. "We need the private sector to invest. If you just use public funds, that's one of the reasons why it is so expensive and takes so long, because you have to put together multiple funding source, each with red tape. Whereas the private sector can get a building finished in a matter of months."

Bass said it's going to take all of us to prevent current residents from leaving.

She wants to slow the amount of people falling into homelessness and get those on L.A. streets housed.

The mayor is asking the wealthiest Angelenos to step up.

"It's not only that we're looking for financial support, but we're really looking for the thought partnership of, 'How do we reduce the cost per unit?' said California Community Foundation President and CEO Miguel Santana. "'How do we deliver it faster? How do we fast track the development of housing, creating ways to turn market rate housing that may be empty and converting it to affordable housing?"

Bass also highlighted the commercial sector in downtown and its struggles post-pandemic, saying "adaptive reuse" could turn those commercial buildings into housing.