Hilda Solis said the county needs to add more than half a million affordable units to meet the existing demand for low-income tenants.

They study the possibility of using the bungalows used for classrooms in housing units

In Los Angeles, there is a housing crisis without any foreigners. (Aurelia Ventura / La Opinion)

Aurelia Ventura / Impremedia / La Opinion

The constant effort to reduce homelessness in Los Angeles County led last week to the presentation of short and long-term options to help in this humanitarian crisis.

Executive Director Sachi A. Hamai presented to the Board of Supervisors a new interactive Geographic Information System (GIS) planning tool to guide the urgent efforts addressed by the homeless crisis.

The tool shows both temporary homes, shelters, and supportive homes that currently exist and are being developed in Los Angeles County. This includes the sites under construction and in the planning and development phases.

Hamai said this tool will guide responsible politicians in Los Angeles County and its 88 cities to increase the housing needed.

"This planning tool provides a powerful and transparent roadmap on how we should move forward to address this crisis," said Hamai. "It offers a unique visual presentation that shows the important efforts now underway, but also demonstrates the hard work that awaits us."

The map is based on data from the 2019 homeless count by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), which reported that nearly 59,000 people experienced homelessness throughout the county, of which , more than 44,000 people did not have a sleeping roof. The total number of homeless people meant an increase of 12% over the previous year.

It is estimated that more than 17,000 students in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) – considered the second largest school district in the nation – experience homelessness.

For this reason, another solution was presented by the supervisor of the first district of Los Angeles County, Hilda Solís, who plans to use thousands of bungalows that were once used as classrooms in LAUSD to turn them into small independent low-cost houses .

Supervisor Solís said Los Angeles County faces an unprecedented housing crisis that is leaving working families outside their homes and pushing them to live on the street.

"The County needs to add more than half a million affordable units to meet the existing demand for low-income tenants," the supervisor said. "Government subsidized housing and large-scale developments are not enough to meet this demand."

He added that while the county seeks housing in partnership with other government agencies, creative solutions must continue to be sought.

"Secondary housing units could be an innovative way to help alleviate the lack of affordable housing in our region," said Solis.

To explore this innovative strategy, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion last Tuesday, authorized by Supervisor Solis, who ordered the relevant County Departments to submit a 120-day report on feasibility of converting these units into affordable housing units (ADU).


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