LOS ANGELES – On her first day in office, Mayor Bass declared a state of emergency to confront the homelessness crisis. After working with City Council leadership, the Mayor is signing an updated local emergency declaration to allow the City to continue to respond urgently and aggressively to the crisis, including expedited contracting and streamlined processing of temporary housing and affordable housing projects.
Mayor Bass was joined by Los Angeles City Council President Paul Krekorian, President Pro Tempore Marqueece Harris-Dawson and community leaders who reiterated their shared commitment to locking arms and urgently confronting the homelessness crisis on all fronts.
“It’s no secret that Los Angeles is facing an emergency when it comes to homelessness. This is an issue of life and death for the thousands of people who are living in tents and cars. That’s why I signed an updated declaration of emergency and have continued to lock arms with the City Council to maintain our momentum toward confronting homelessness and building more affordable housing,” said Mayor Karen Bass. “I thank Council President Krekorian, Council President Pro Tempore Harris-Dawson and the entire City Council for their continued partnership.”
The Mayor’s Executive Directives issued shortly after the original emergency declaration will remain in effect thanks to the new emergency declaration issued under Section 8.33 of the City’s Administrative Code. This includes Executive Directive (ED) 1, which has streamlined the process for approval of affordable housing and permanent supportive housing for temporary and permanent housing.
Thus far, more than 450 projects totaling more than 8,000 units are potentially eligible to utilize ED 1. As of June, 22 projects, with more than 1,600 units, have received planning approvals in an average of 37 days. This is a time savings of at least 6 months in the planning approvals process. More than 3300 parcels of City-owned land have been reviewed under ED 3 to determine which could be suitable for interim and permanent housing.
“The Council tailored this portion of the Administrative Code to be more specific to the housing and homelessness emergency and to provide the Mayor with the emergency tools that she needs on an ongoing basis, but also to provide the kind of reporting and ongoing engagement of the City Council and the public, that we all need to have to ensure that we're learning as we go, that we're modifying programs to make them more effective as we go, that we're ensuring that we maintain cost efficiencies so that we're able to help the greatest number of people with the same amount of resources,” said Council President Paul Krekorian. “I'm pleased that we're going to be able to move forward with a new emergency declaration that will be able to provide that kind of ongoing cooperation with the council and in transparency for the public.”
"The City Charter didn't give us the tools needed to address what is before us today. So it is the work of policymakers like the Mayor and the LA City Council to come up with solutions. Declarations were based on sudden, dramatic, and oftentimes short-term events that disrupt day-to-day life in the city," said Council President Pro Tempore Marqueece Harris-Dawson. "The homelessness crisis is a slow-moving, human-produced disaster that shows up more and more every day. This declaration gives the City Departments and the Mayor's Office the tools to confront it. As we continue to refine our systems, we can develop policies that allow Los Angeles to realize the vision that the mayor put forward—that LA is not a city where people sleep outside in tents. This is a place where everyone is inside, safe."
In addition to other actions, the declaration allows the Mayor to:
Coordinate citywide planning to urgently respond to the crisis;
Secure contracts with service providers, builders and other vendors to deliver resources;
Streamline processes associated with identifying and executing contract agreements;
Call for the emergency service of City employees;
The updated directive also provides the City Council with more avenues for collaboration on the Mayor’s emergency authority.
The updated declaration is currently supported by two of the three criteria listed in the new City ordinance recently enacted by City Council (Los Angeles Administrative Code Section 8.33) related to housing supply and the number of unhoused people in the City compared with the number of interim beds.
According to the Los Angeles City Planning Department, the City is 60.3% below the annual production goal for the eight-year RHNA cycle of 2021-2029. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority reports that 16,521 interim beds exist and the recently released Point-In-Time count was 46,260 unhoused individuals in the City, well more than twice the number of interim beds.