What are Bass and Caruso’s plans to house the homeless

Los Angeles mayoral candidates Karen Bass and Rick Caruso have each made sweeping promises about how they will solve the homelessness crisis on the city’s streets, where up to 41,000 people sleep in tents, motorhomes and other makeshift accommodations.

The two candidates recently met with reporters from The Times to discuss their proposals and work out details.

The two promise to get thousands of people off the city streets, but their plans differ significantly in scale and method.

Caruso is fully focused on building new transitional housing for 30,000 people through two initiatives, one using vacant government land and the other in underutilized buildings.

Bass outlined a nine-point plan that she says would house more than 17,000 people by accelerating and expanding programs that already exist.

Here is an overview of their proposals:

Caruso package

Rick Caruso says he will build 30,000 new interim beds in 300 days at a one-time capital cost of $743-874 million. It does not include running costs, which he said should be paid for by the county. This building would be in addition to interim and permanent housing that would be added through existing programs such as the HHH proposal.

It divides the plan into two equal parts:

small houses

Temporary and portable outdoor structures measuring approximately 8 feet by 8 feet. They come with one, two or four beds. Caruso considers them a private shelter – one person per structure – but would allow sharing by choice.

Where: Surplus government land.

Caruso has a list of 300 properties that could be used but has not reviewed them individually for feasibility. His campaign released a list of just 10 properties, seven city-owned, two county-owned and one state-owned as examples. Some examples of potential locations were a 124-acre parcel west of Los Angeles International Airport slated for a rental car center and vacant land west of USC.

Cost: $4,798 per structure plus approximately $40,000 for site preparation and installation. Caruso and his team said the actual cost could be as low as $20,000 to $25,000, but would not commit to a minimum figure without access to more city-held data.

sleeping capsules

Temporary and transportable structures assembled like office furniture inside existing buildings with walls separating sleeping areas.

Caruso’s campaign did not produce a list of potential sites or a specific manufacturer or design.

Where: Inside underutilized commercial and industrial or government buildings.

Cost: $4,740 per pod plus about $9,000 for setup

Funding sources : Caruso’s campaign didn’t say where the money would come from, but cited $700 million in homeless spending over the past two years, including $221 million in federal housing solutions grants. emergency, $80 million from the state’s emergency homeless assistance program, $120.9 million from the state’s homeless housing. , Assistance and Prevention Program and $278.7 million in municipal funds.

These state and federal funding resources were used to purchase hotels and build shelters.

Caruso declined to estimate operating expenses to house 30,000 people, but a Times analysis of city documents found it would cost about $660 million a year, or about $22,000 per person.

For Caruso, carrying out this plan will also mean speeding up and simplifying the process of permitting and developing homeless housing, while being more assertive with members of the city council on the selection of sites where these shelters and small houses would go.

bass plan

Karen Bass says it will place 17,153 people inside in its first year at a cost of $292 million, including the capital cost and one year of operation for the interim housing. The beds would be a combination of temporary and permanent housing that already exists or is under construction, new housing and shelters, and thousands of market units using rental subsidies that have been issued but not yet used.

His plan has nine parts:

Emergency housing vouchers

Bass would get 3,170 rented apartments or motels using federal emergency housing vouchers.

The city received 3,365 emergency grants under pandemic relief programs, but had placed only 196 people in homes by July. Bass is committed to expanding eligibility, streamlining the application process, and providing incentives for owners.

Where: Apartments and motels at market prices throughout the city.

Cost: None in town. Federal and philanthropic funds will cover all costs.

Buildings under master lease

Bass plans to secure 2,500 units in master-leased buildings

By leasing entire buildings, the city can integrate food services and mental health and addiction treatment.

Where: Apartments and motels at market prices throughout the city.

Cost: $30 million.

Permanent units

The plan calls for 3,000 units in new buildings constructed under the HHH proposal.

Bass promises to streamline city processes to expedite projects receiving funds from the 2016 Homeless Housing Bond. Currently, 2,000 units are expected to be completed in 2023, so she promises a 50% increase.

Where: New construction across town.

Cost: No new cost. The City’s portion is already funded under the $1.2 billion measure.

Buildings bought by the city

The Homekey project, a state program, would help the city acquire 700 apartments in apartment buildings, hotels or motels.

Two rounds of state funding enabled the city to purchase nearly 2,000 units in existing buildings and some newly constructed buildings. Bass is counting on approval of the city’s request for a third round now in the hands of Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Where: Existing buildings or new constructions around the city.

Cost: $105 million for the city’s share.

Existing temporary accommodation

Bass’ plan calls for freeing up 3,700 beds in existing interim housing.

She counts shelter beds that are currently occupied but will become available when their current residents move into the 3,000 new beds in the HHH proposal and the 700 new beds in the Roomkey project in her plan.

Where: Existing shelters around the city.

Cost: Operating cost of $82 million.

New temporary accommodation

Bass proposes to build 1,000 new interim housing units: one-third small houses, one-third tent structures with individual cabins, and one-third modular construction.

Where: On government land.

Bass said they could be built on 73 acres of unused or underutilized land owned by the city and more than 600 acres of land in the city owned by other government entities. Because the town-purchased tiny houses come with two beds, Bass has two placements for each unit — for a total of 666 people housed in 333 units. While Bass doesn’t support requiring people to share accommodation, his staff said he was confident the tiny houses could be occupied by couples.

Cost: $53.8 million in capital costs and $21.5 million in operating costs.

Mental Health and Addiction Beds

Bass says she would pave the way for 750 beds in mental health and addictions facilities. She said she would work with Newsom and the federal government to end a restriction on Medicaid reimbursement for mental health facilities with more than 16 beds. This would allow large institutions such as St. Vincent’s Closed Medical Center to be converted into residential treatment centers.

Cost: None in town.

Accommodation in converted buildings

Bass said she would update the downtown adaptive reuse ordinance so that the city’s underutilized hotels, motels, offices and retail buildings can be converted into 500 housing units.

Where: In existing buildings across the city.

Cost: None in town.

Housing Vouchers for Veterans

Bass said she would work with the US Department of Veterans Affairs to remove roadblocks to free up 1,500 housing vouchers for veterans.

Where: In existing accommodation around the city.

Cost: None in town.


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