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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

PSH and Motel Conversion Ordinances Pass City Council

By David Graham-Caso, Chief of Staff to Councilman Mike Bonin

Councilmembers Bonin Huizar, Wesson, and Harris-Dawson celebrated Wednesday with the United Way and homeless advocates as the City Council adopted two ordinances that are crucial to creating more supportive housing across the City: the Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) Ordinance and the Motel Conversion Ordinance.

Combined, these ordinances will significantly reduce construction timelines and costs for supportive housing—helping stretch $1.2 billion in Measure HHH funds further and bring the most vulnerable people experiencing homelessness into much-needed housing more quickly. A 60-unit building, for example, could save nearly $1 million thanks to the expedited processes that the PSH ordinance offers.

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, and the ordinances were reviewed and debated in a series of public information sessions, Planning Commission meetings, Planning Committee meetings and Council meetings.

“Homelessness is a tremendous crisis that demands urgent action and rapid solutions,” said Councilmember Mike Bonin. “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 José Huizar and Marqueece Harris-Dawson, as well as the leadership of Mayor Garcetti and Council President Herb Wesson for helping deliver these important ordinances.”

“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 applaud my City Council colleagues for their support.”

“We are a can-do council,” said Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson. “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.”

“We know that homelessness will not be solved with one vote or one campaign,” said Councilmember Harris-Dawson. “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.”

“Both ordinances are critical because they will more quickly advance the will of voters and get us one big step closer to building 10,000 units of supportive housing for our chronically homeless and disabled neighbors,” said Elise Buik, President & CEO, United Way of Greater L.A. “United Way’s ‘Everyone In’ campaign is working to activate the silent majority of people who know that supportive housing works and that we need to build it across the region.”

Supportive housing is the most effective solution for ending chronic homelessness or helping people with disabilities maintain stable housing. This is roughly one-third of the total people experiencing homelessness. Supportivehousing is 40% more cost effective than the cycle of treating the same people while they are living outside.

More about the Supportive Housing Ordinance can be found in the Department of City Planning’s information sheet at: https://planning.lacity.org/ordinances/docs/PermanentSupportiveHousing/FAQ.pdf.

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