Homelessness rose last year in L.A., further fueling concerns about the city’s growing crisis.
The number of homeless people in the city jumped 11 percent from 2015 to 2016, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) announced on Wednesday.
“I've been predicting the problem was going to get worse before it got better,” City Councilman Mike Bonin told The Los Angeles Times.
At the heart of the problem is a dearth in viable housing options.
Garcetti’s “bold” plan aims to address that very issue.
The mayor’s proposed budget is more than quadruple the $34 million allocated for the current fiscal year. He said most of those funds will be used to build permanent, affordable housing for low-income communities.
But critics remain wary of exactly how the mayor will come up with the money to end the crisis that affects one third of the nation’s chronically homeless population.
The city has been working on identifying alternative funding sources.
In March, city council members proposed a number of measures that could bring in money for housing for homeless, which included taxing marijuana in order to raise the estimated $2 billion needed for the initiative. A 15 percent tax on pot sales and cultivation would bring in about $16.7 million annually.
While advocates remain concerned about the general homeless population, some specific demographics experienced notable declines this year.
Veteran homelessness fell by 30 percent this year and family homelessness dropped by 18 percent.
Experts say those figures speak to the effective results that come when government agencies and nonprofits work together.
“Homelessness responds to resources,” Peter Lynn, LAHSA executive director, said in a statement. “When we have systemically applied City, County and federal resources, we see results.”