LA Mayor Wants the Wealthy to Fund Housing for Homeless

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass announced a new initiative that would prevail on the “humanity and generosity” of the city’s private sector to help purchase housing for LA’s homeless population.

In her April 15 State of the City Address, Mayor Bass announced the LA4LA Capital Campaign, asking “more fortunate” LA residents to help the city “acquire more properties” for the city’s roughly 40,000 homeless.

The initiative seeks investment from wealthy individuals, the private sector, and philanthropic organizations to establish a capital fund from which the city can lease or purchase hotels, motels, and other structures to be used to house the homeless.

Mayor Bass argued that spending capital on homelessness would reduce the costs on the city in the long term. She noted that the ongoing homeless crisis has cost the city of Los Angeles revenue that it has lost due to the exodus of downtown businesses and the drop in tourism.

Westside Coalition CEO Darci Niva told NBC News Los Angeles that she liked the mayor’s LA4LA Capital Campaign.

Westside Coalition represents dozens of government agencies and private charity groups that provide aid to California’s homeless. Niva told NBC News that the mayor’s plan also needed to provide further resources and support to these agencies.

She argued that those who work with the homeless were “giving all that they have” and said it would be “tremendously” helpful if the wealthy in Los Angeles would also contribute to them.

Mayor Bass previously introduced a program called Inside Safe that sought to place homeless people indoors and off the streets. According to the mayor, 2,600 homeless were provided shelter through the program.

Bass said in her April 15 address that the LA4LA Capital Campaign could be a “sea change” for the city which would disrupt “the status quo” by building “a new system to save lives.”