Councilmember Huizar’s Planning Committee approved the Permanent Supportive Housing Ordinance, which aims to streamline production of homeless housing units in the City, as well the Motel Conversion Ordinance to streamline converting existing motels into supportive or transitional housing – both actions part of City’s 2016 Homelessness Strategy Plan will now move forward to City Council for approval.
The City’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee (PLUM), Chaired by Councilmember José Huizar, unanimously approved Tuesday, March 6, 2018 two proposals ( 5-0 ) aimed at speeding up and easing City processes in order to expedite housing the City of Los Angeles’ homeless population, which at last count in 2017, was at nearly 34,000 – a 20% increase from 2016.
Huizar and his PLUM colleagues approved the Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) ordinance, which will streamline production of units by simplifying the entitlement and environmental review processes, reduce the overall processing time for each project and remove parking requirements for homeless units. The Interim Motel Conversion Ordinance will allow participating motels and hotels to be renovated and used for supportive and transitional housing. The ordinance would allow property owners to convert the units back to hotel and motel use later if they so choose.
Both ordinances will now move to the full City Council for approval.
Both action items were first recommended as part of the City’s Comprehensive Homelessness Strategic Plan, which Councilmember Huizar helped draft as co-chair of the Homelessness and Poverty Committee, along with Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson. Huizar and Harris-Dawson are the co-authors of Measure HHH, the $1.2 billion homeless housing bond that also came out of the strategy report.
“These two ordinances expedite our previous practices to provide new tools to speed up desperately needed housing to assist our homeless population,” said Councilmember Huizar. “The Permanent Supportive Housing Ordinance will mean Measure 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 urge my City Council colleagues to support these efforts.”
Councilmember José Huizar is one of the City of Los Angeles’ most proactive elected officials in pursuing creative solutions to address homelessness.
He was the initiator for Skid Row’s successful City Community County (C3) program. Huizar first worked with LA County Supervisor Mark-Ridley Thomas to bring County mental health, medical, rehabilitative and housing experts into Skid Row for intensive outreach during the City’s Operation Healthy Streets cleanups. C3 is now the model for the entire County of Los Angeles.
Huizar also teamed with Council President Herb Wesson to create the nation’s first permanent large-city committee to address homelessness; oversaw as Co-Chair of that committee the creation of the City’s Homelessness Strategic Plan; and co-authored Measure HHH.
As Chair of the City’s Planning committee, Councilmember Huizar also led the effort on the Los Angeles City Council, with the support of Mayor Garcetti, to create a Linkage Fee program, which will generate hundreds of millions of dollars to provide for new affordable housing and protect existing affordable housing throughout the City in order to keep Angelenos from falling into homelessness – which the City’s Homelessness Strategic Plan also called for.