Mayor Garcetti, L.A. City leaders to accelerate housing construction for homeless Angelenos

LOS ANGELES — The City Council today passed dual ordinances that will dramatically accelerate L.A.’s efforts to create new units of supportive housing for homeless Angelenos.

Mayor Eric Garcetti will sign both the Permanent Supportive Housing and Interim Motel Conversion ordinances into law on Thursday. City Attorney Mike Feuer strongly supports both ordinances.

“This crisis demands that we look at using every available resource — and cut as much time as we can out of the construction timeline — for housing that we need now,” said Mayor Garcetti. “I am proud to stand with my Council colleagues, and look forward to signing these ordinances into law so we can get to work.”

The Permanent Supportive Housing Ordinance will help shrink the pre-development timeline for many supportive housing developments from five years to less than one — by creating a streamlined planning process and removing regulatory barriers that have historically impeded the approval and construction of supportive housing.

Hotels and motels also present an opportunity to utilize existing structures to respond to immediate housing needs. The Interim Motel Conversion Ordinance will allow existing motels and hotels to be retrofitted for use as supportive and transitional housing — linked to County-funded services designed to help homeless Angelenos rebuild their lives. The law would allow the properties to be used for this purpose for a specific period of time and eventually returned to their previous use. 

Both ordinances were passed unanimously by the City Council today.
Both action items were heard in the Homelessness & Poverty Committee, Chaired by Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, and adopted in the City's Planning & Land Use Management Committee, Chaired by Councilmember José Huizar. The ordinances were first recommended as part of the City’s Comprehensive Homelessness Strategic Plan, which Councilmembers Huizar and Harris-Dawson helped draft as then co-chairs of the Homelessness and Poverty Committee.

"I applaud the Council for taking a key step toward the permanent supportive housing so essential to our future, and enacting a motel conversion ordinance to propel near-term homeless housing solutions forward. Today's action, with the Mayor's strong support and close collaboration with the County, shows the potential when we join together to tackle our homeless crisis." — City Attorney Mike Feuer 

“We are a can-do council. We tackle big issues and are not afraid to fail. We have always believed actions speak louder than words. Homelessness may not be a problem we will solve overnight, but that will not stop us from working on solutions around-the-clock. Today’s vote is the next step towards bringing roofs and resources to our homeless brothers and sisters.”  — City Council President Herb Wesson

“We know that homelessness will not be solved with one vote or one campaign. There are no silver bullets, but together we can get it done. You are seeing a consistent commitment to a comprehensive and strategic approach to solving homelessness. We started long-term to build supportive housing, and now, we are focused on the short-term.” — Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Chair of the Homelessness and Poverty Committee

“These two ordinances expedite our previous practices to provide new tools to speed up desperately needed housing to assist our homeless population. The Permanent Supportive Housing Ordinance will mean Proposition HHH housing will get built quicker. The Motel Conversion Ordinance gives greater flexibility and incentives to motel and hotel owners to convert their operations into homeless housing. The bottom line is we have to accelerate our efforts to provide more long-term supportive housing and temporary, emergency housing. The need is great on both ends and we simply must do more to meet that demand. I applaud my City Council colleagues for their support.” — Councilmember Jose Huizar, Chair of the Planning, Land Use and Management Committee

“I applaud the City's efforts to establish a process for temporary use of motels and hotels for supportive and transitional housing. We are in a housing crisis, which requires us to think outside of the box and utilize every tool at our disposal to get people off the streets and into a habitable shelter. All options are on the table.” — Councilmember Gil Cedillo, Chair of the Housing Committee

“Homelessness is a tremendous crisis that demands urgent action and rapid solutions. These ordinances remove significant roadblocks and will allow us to provide more quickly the housing we desperately need for our homeless neighbors. I am incredibly grateful for the work of my colleagues Jose Huizar and Marqueece Harris-Dawson, as well as the leadership of Mayor Garcetti and Council President Herb Wesson for helping deliver these important ordinances.” — Councilmember Mike Bonin