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LA County & City Plan for Solving Homelessness: In a Word, Taxes!

JUST THE FACTS-The Los Angeles City and County political structure is determined to raise your taxes to finally address the exploding homeless situation in our region. 

 

Promises and more promises from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the Los Angeles Mayor and Los Angeles City Hall Officials have been made to come up with a comprehensive plan.   In reality, nothing has changed for those of us that have been residents of Los Angeles for many years. I have witnessed the neglect of the homelessness situation as it has continued to spread throughout the region. 

There was a promise of “Back to Basics” from Mayor Garcetti when he was first elected to office. It sounded good and gave hope for a positive change to those living on the streets of Los Angeles. It also gave hope to the neighborhoods dealing with the consequences of the homeless population. 

While millions (even billions) have been mentioned at news conferences and community meetings to address the sprawling homeless matter, not much has been done. In reality, the price of homes and apartments is excessive. And when I mention homes, I include all types of residences…single family, apartments and anything else where people can live and call it home. 

A recent survey listed rents in our region, including Los Angeles and surrounding communities. The following areas and rents are for a one bedroom apartment:

 

Culver City…$1,950.

Koreatown…$1.450.

Downtown Los Angeles…$2,650.

Echo Park $1,610.

Pacific Palisades…$2,490.

Silverlake…$1,850

Mid-City…$$2,430.

Hollywood Hills…$1,820.

 

This rent payment does not cover any additional costs such as electricity, furnishings or food. 

As you can see, without a significant allocation of government funds, the homeless situation will only worsen as time passes. Are we ready as a city to increase our taxes to provide the funds necessary to finally reduce the number of homeless in our area? We will soon find out as County and City leaders are now working on a ballot measure for the next election. While there is now a detailed plan, the question of funding remains. 

I participated in the recent homeless count in the San Fernando Valley. Revitalize Reseda President Walt Sweeney and I worked a grid in the Third Council District. There are many people in the West Valley living on the streets as well as in cars, trailers and motorhomes. It’s a truly a sad situation. 

I will continue to monitor this situation and report on the progress or lack of it as we proceed into the local election cycle. 

Coming in my next article: The USC campus is surrounded by a number of neighborhoods with various crime problems. If an active shooter enters the USC campus, are the USC Security Officers as properly trained and equipped to handle the situation as the officers assigned to UCLA and Cal State Northridge? There are interesting technical issues to deal with due to the anti-gun policies of the Los Angeles City Attorney and some LA City Councilmembers.

  

(Dennis P. Zine is a 33 year member of the Los Angeles Police Department and former Vice-Chairman of the Elected Los Angeles City Charter Reform Commission, 12 year member of the Los Angeles City Council and current LAPD Reserve Officer. He writes Just the Facts for CityWatch. You can contact him at [email protected].) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.