Bold, collaborative action is needed to increase access to housing and reduce homelessness in Los Angeles, a report from the Urban Land Institute argues.
Based on recommendations made by a panel of housing, architecture, public policy, and housing finance experts, the report, Homelessness: Los Angeles, California: Recommendations for Local Action (38 pages, PDF), calls on the city to house the unhoused, increase the overall housing supply, and reimagine leadership and accountability with respect to the problem. Specifically, the report recommends halving the number of unsheltered homeless people in the city by the end of 2018 by investing in temporary shelters and using existing shelters and services more efficiently; establishing sixty "community housing solution centers" focused on placing residents in permanent supportive housing within six months; reclaiming public spaces currently occupied by homeless encampments; and bringing five hundred scattered-site transitional housing units online annually over the next five years.
To increase the housing supply in the city, the study recommends streamlining approvals and incentivizing development of below-market housing; encouraging innovation in cost-effective housing design and development; and building support for increased density, especially along transportation corridors. The report also calls on city leaders to consolidate the authority needed to address the problem and streamline the governing process; strengthen coordination, administration, and reporting around the development and delivery of housing and related services; and urge Angelenos to embrace a collective responsibility for supporting affordable housing and services for those in need.
"The panel's work is impressive in terms of its ability to untangle the competing pressures and aid in resolving a vexing social issue from a real estate perspective," said ULI Americas chair Trish Healy. "What ULI brought to this panel assignment is the essence of the Urban Land Institute — members with a broad range of industry expertise, an openness to ideas, and an ability to bring together stakeholders with different and perhaps even competing interests."