Tag Archives: Association of California Water Agencies

LA finally going to solve homeless crisis with “Housing Central Command”

The street of LA…

Like many progressive-run, West coast cities, Los Angeles has had a homeless crisis for many years.

In June 2019, it was announced that the number of homeless people in Los Angeles County jumped 12 percent over the previous year, despite $619 million in government tax spending tax payer dollars to help alleviate the problem.

After spending all that taxpayer money to barely make a dent in their crisis, the bureaucrats have come up with a solution: the creation of a “Housing Central Command” center. Details from Yahoo:

“Los Angeles city and county officials on Tuesday announced a new strategy to speed the process of getting homeless people into permanent housing that is modeled on the federal government’s response to natural disasters.

The creation of a “Housing Central Command” marks an overhaul of how agencies work together in addressing the growing number of people living on the street, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

Previously the system was slowed by red tape and gaps in information showing what housing units were available and who is eligible to move into them, officials said. In some cases there was a waiting period of 10 months from a person being matched to housing to signing a lease.

“Nobody was holding the full picture of resources,” said LAHSA interim executive director Heidi Marston. “Our systems weren’t talking to each other.”

The new initiative uses a “war room model” inspired by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s approach to finding homes for people suddenly displaced by hurricanes, Marston said. Now officials will have access to real-time data showing housing availability as well as funding streams, according to LAHSA.

Since the launch in December, officials have identified some 3,000 potential housing units that were previously not part of the overall inventory, Marston said.

The central command is a major step toward restructuring a response system overseen by LAHSA that also includes housing and development authorities, the mayor’s office and health departments.

“We have a high number of people who need to be rehoused rapidly,” Marson said of the situation in greater Los Angeles, where officials have declared homelessness a state of emergency. Including crisis-response experts on a day-to-day basis shows that officials are treating the problem with the urgency it deserves, she said.

In its 2019 count, the authority reported that there were close to 60,000 homeless people living in LA County, with more than 36,000 of them in the city. All but about 25% live on the streets. Freeway overpasses are lined with tents, and it’s a common sight to see someone pushing a shopping cart filled with belongings through downtown.

According to LAHSA and Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office, an average of 130 homeless people in Los Angeles move into housing daily. However, an average of 150 people become homeless every day. “The homelessness crisis demands an emergency response, and moving the needle means being nimble, flexible and creative with our resources,” Garcetti said in a statement praising the new strategy.

Through the new process, officials also discovered $30 million of a $107 million grant from HUD to Los Angeles in 2017 had gone unspent within a calendar-year deadline, LAHSA said.

That happened because of low vacancy rates and higher market rates than public housing authorities could pay, LAHSA officials said, along with “landlord bias” against tenants with mental disorders or a history of homelessness.

“It is completely unacceptable that housing funds were left unspent when our unsheltered neighbors continue to languish out on the street,” said LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis. The new efforts will leave behind a “disjointed” system and “maximize all of the region’s resources,” she said.”

Read the whole story here.

While HUD Secretary Ben Carson met with Los Angeles officials a week ago to discuss strategies for addressing homelessness in Los Angeles, I’m not holding my breath that the demorats in charge will actually accomplish any major goals. Well, maybe just one: the “discovery” of more unspent taxpayer dollars.

DCG

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That was fast: Gov. Newsom wants new tax on drinking water

Newsom not wasting any time in quickly creating new taxes for Californians.

Elections have consequences.

As reported by SF Gate: In order to help disadvantaged communities obtain safe and affordable drinking water, California Governor Gavin Newsom is proposing a new statewide water tax.

In the newly-released 2019-20 budget, Newsom calls for the creation of a “safe and affordable drinking water fund” that would “enable the State Water Resources Control Board to assist communities, particularly disadvantaged communities, in paying for the short-term and long-term costs of obtaining access to safe and affordable drinking water.”

A McClatchy investigation from 2018 found that 6 million Californians rely on water providers that violated state standards at some point in the last six years. According to the report, the majority of Californians that lack safe drinking water live in the Southern San Joaquin Valley and the Mojave Desert.

The details of the proposed tax are unknown, but a similar proposal was abandoned by then-Governor Jerry Brown last year after failing to garner enough support in the legislature. California residents would have been taxed 95 cents a month, or $11.40 a year, under that plan.

On Friday, Newsom took his Cabinet on a trip to the Central Valley to hear from residents who lack clean drinking water. “We met with residents who cannot drink or bathe with the water in their homes — while paying more for it than those in Beverly Hills,” the governor tweeted.

The Association of California Water Agencies, a group that represents more than 400 water suppliers across the state, announced its opposition to the latest proposed water tax from Newsom.

“The vast majority of the state’s residents have access to safe drinking water, but a small percentage of the population does not,” the association said in a statement. “This unacceptable reality is a social issue for the State of California. ACWA believes that making access to safe drinking water for all Californians should be a top priority for the State. However, a statewide water tax is highly problematic and is not necessary when alternative funding solutions exist and the state has a huge budget surplus.”

Read the whole story here.

DCG

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