California’s homelessness crisis in continuously rising. To address this issue, the City of Los Angeles is coming up with a pilot program to curb the number of homeless people in the county.
The program includes providing a handful of homeowners with the necessary funding to build accessory dwelling units for the homeless right in their backyard.
Los Angeles’ pilot program was approved on August 15, 2017, by the county’s Board of Supervisors. They have set aside $550,000 as the budget for this program. This project will last for 18 months.
While this seems to limit the number of homeowners to benefit from the grants, the main purpose of the pilot program is to test the effectiveness of accessory dwelling units as a solution to the homelessness crisis of the county.
How much subsidy can homeowners get?
Qualified homeowners may receive up to $75,000 in funding to construct these units in their properties. The process of availing of the subsidy will be streamlined. This will benefit the homeowners because of lesser paperwork. It will also be advantageous to the county. If the homeowners get the needed resources faster, the building of these “granny flats” or “in-law units” will be initiated earlier.
One condition that the program stipulates is that they must have these units rented by homeless individuals.
For those who already have existing accessory units, they can be granted of up to $50,000 of funding. This money must be used towards needed repairs and improvements of existing dwellings. In the same manner, these second units must be rented out to the homeless.
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LA Looks for New Design Proposals on Cheap New Housing for the Homeless
Aside from the subsidy that qualified homeowners get, the program also seeks to find new architectural design proposals for relatively low-cost housing. This is part of the project’s budget of $550,000.
This forms part of the actions under the Los Angeles County Strategies to Combat Homelessness. Other strategies include increasing employment and income for homeless adults and homelessness prevention programs.
Homelessness Soars in LA
From bad to worse, homelessness has drastically increased by 23 percent in the past year in Los Angeles. This scenario is also true in the neighboring cities.
The crisis has become so imminent that it is so easy to spot makeshift tents all over the metro. From the 46,874 homeless individuals in 2016, it has now got up to 58,000 just half way through 2017.
Americans ages 18 to 24 years old are becoming homeless faster than any age group, up 64 percent of homelessness population. Children come in second, up 41 percent.
Alarmed by this worsening situation, county officials are now taking into consideration many contingency plans to address this issue. Many, if not all, are hoping that the county’s set of strategies will be effective in putting an end to the rising numbers of homeless people. The recommended strategies are aimed to maximize the effectiveness of the county’s current efforts to address homelessness in Los Angeles.