By putting in a down payment of $182 million, Los Angeles County has leveraged $1.7 billion in public and private funds towards the construction of 3,362 affordable apartments over the last five years, two-thirds of which were reserved for people struggling with homelessness, mental illness and physical disabilities.
According to a report by the county chief executive office and the Community Development Commission/Housing Authority of the county of Los Angeles, every dollar put in by the county over the last five years has been matched six-fold by public and private funders.
Encouraged by this success, the county is ramping up its investment in building and preserving affordable apartments.
“Since last year, Los Angeles County has tripled its investment in affordable apartments to $90 million, providing desperately needed help to many of our neighbors struggling with homelessness,” L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said. “Given the magnitude of the crisis, we must continue to scale up our response and use every tool at our disposal, from financial incentives and streamlined entitlements to creative policy making.”
“As The Bible says, ‘where there is no vision the people perish,’ and I am very proud that the Board of Supervisors has had the vision to make a significant new investment in affordable housing and are beginning to see the results,” Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, chair of the board, said. “Our homeless crisis is fed by our affordable housing crisis, and so the county has embarked on addressing the homeless/affordable housing crisis in many ways. We have not solved the problem yet, but every time we house 1,000 people, that’s 1,000 more people who are stably housed and not on the street or at risk of falling into homelessness. [The] report reflects visionary and innovative work and we will continue this work until we solve our housing problems.”
As one of the largest public housing authorities in the country, the county chief executive and housing authority also helped house 21,000 low-income households through the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program; 1,418 special needs households through the Continuum of Care Program, which primarily serves people who are homeless, or struggling with mental health issues or physical disabilities; and 1,754 veterans in households through Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers. From program inception to date, through Measure H, the county’s Homeless Incentive Program has helped 850 formerly homeless individuals, families and veterans find housing by providing incentives to landlords.
“Through initiatives, both large and small, we are helping to close the 568,000-unit gap in affordable housing and bring people home through preservation and development,” Monique King-Viehland, executive director of the chief executive office and housing authority, said. “And as a county of our size, we need big initiatives so that people go home.”
Additionally, homeowner programs have assisted 171 homeowners throughout the county and provided more than $41 million in funding to support home ownership countywide, with an emphasis on low- to moderate-income households, in fiscal year 2017-18.
In the same time frame, the county has provided $4.6 million in preservation services to more than 200 low- to moderate-income households, primarily seniors, through a variety of home ownership improvement strategies.
For information, visit lacounty.gov.
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