L.A. Budgets $430 Million, More Than Doubling Its Previous Amount, in Effort to Ease Homeless Problem

In his fiscal 2018-19 budget, Mayor Eric Garcetti more than doubled the amount — $430 million — dedicated to easing the city’s intractable homeless problem. Only about 20% of the proposed spending, however, would come from general fund money earmarked for direct services to homeless people.

A man sleeps on the sidewalk in front of the Union Rescue Mission in the skid row neighborhood of Los Angeles. (Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

A man sleeps on the sidewalk in front of the Union Rescue Mission in the skid row neighborhood of Los Angeles. (Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

That $80 million, also twice the amount available in the current budget, would go to programs run by the mayor’s office, city departments and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. The joint city-county agency funds shelters and outreach programs, conducts the annual homeless count and maintains homeless data systems.

More than half the homeless spending in the new budget, which still must be approved by the City Council, is long-term debt authorized by Proposition HHH to pay for housing construction that probably will take two years or more to complete. Another big chunk is the value of city-owned land that is being offered to developers for those projects.

The centerpiece of Garcetti’s program is a $20-million fund to open shelters across the city. The mayor wants 50 to 100 beds in each council district by January. Each district would receive $1.33 million and have six months to build a shelter or forfeit the money to another district.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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