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Taking the next step in months of negotiations over ways to combat L.A.’s homelessness crisis, Mayor Eric Garcetti and U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on Thursday announced the formation of a joint working group.

Although much about the collaboration remains unknown, the mayor and secretary said their staffs would be working together to identify red tape and other impediments to getting people off the streets and housed quickly.

As recently as last month, Garcetti and Carson said they were close to a deal that would allow Los Angeles to receive more federal resources, including money and land on which to build shelters. The mayor warned at the time that “there’s no cavalry coming from Washington.”

On Thursday, however, Garcetti was more optimistic. He and Carson spoke with The Times at the Getty House, hours after both men addressed an event on homelessness at USC’s Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy.

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