The Valley Industry & Commerce Association has issued a statement that Mayor Eric Garcetti’s $20 million plan to build temporary homeless shelters on city-owned property will be rejected by local communities.
Garcetti announced the plan during his State of the State speech Monday. It calls for using $20 million in funding to build new emergency shelters and provide sanitation services across the city’s 15 City Council districts by the end of the year. Local districts can only receive the funds and services once they have approved a site to build a new shelter.
While VICA supports Garcetti’s efforts to streamline the permitting process to build more permanent housing, VICA President Stuart Waldman said communities will not be happy to learn that temporary homeless shelters could be slated for their neighborhoods.
“Developers already struggle to overcome neighborhood opposition to constructing 100-unit apartment buildings,” Waldman said in a statement. “I can’t imagine that any communities will be clamoring to host tent cities of the same size in their backyards.”
In 2016, voters passed Proposition HHH, a $1.2 billion bond measure aimed at developing permanent supportive housing for the city’s homeless population. In his speech, Garcetti said the temporary shelters are needed to house homeless individuals while new housing is built.
Waldman says the mayor will have difficulty convincing many councilmembers to sign up for the plan.
“I don’t see a scenario where putting homeless encampments in certain council districts doesn’t result in recall attempts for those councilmembers,” Waldman said.