L.A. City Council Clears Way for $1.2 Billion Homeless Bond on Nov. Ballot

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Homeless people set up tarps and tents in downtown Los Angeles' Skid Row in May 2016. (Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles City Council cleared the way Friday for a $1.2-billion bond measure on the Nov. 8 ballot, abandoning a competing tax proposal that would have generated less money for homeless initiatives.

On an 12-0 vote, the council dropped plans for a parcel tax, which would have generated $900 million for housing construction, storage lockers and other programs.

The vote leaves the bond as the city’s preferred strategy for financing new apartments and other facilities for the homeless. Councilman Jose Huizar, who co-authored the bond proposal, said the measure had consistently outperformed the parcel tax in voter surveys, sometimes by more than 10 percentage points.

“I’ve seen like two or three polls that indicate that the bond is doing much better [with voters] than the parcel tax,” Huizar said. “But we didn’t base our decision simply on the poll. We based our decision on what we thought was the best way to move forward.”

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