The fact of the matter is, funding is required to manage the growing homelessness crisis. According to the Alameda County’s biannual “point-in-time” homeless count, it identified 2,761 homeless people in Oakland and a 26 percent increase from the previous survey in 2015. “If the city does not create a new source of revenue, they just will be stymied in being able to address the homeless crisis at all, which is just growing astronomically,” James Vann, a member of Oakland’s Homeless Advocacy Working Group, said.

Like many in many cities, Alameda has struggled with homelessness crisis funding since 2015 which is particularly reinforced by economic conditions rather than supposedly mental illness or substance abuse and also like many states, the city has tried some conventional means such as the sanctioned Volunteer-run camps that have been opened, closed and moved. I think the Vacant Property Tax is good legislation that would suffice to lower the homelessness crisis in the short run. If a similar measure was implemented in the state of Los Angeles, the homelessness crisis would be averted and probably even resolved. Also, I think it is a good measure since it tries as much to avoid the confrontation with the NIMBY resistant group.

Introducing Measure H-Quarter Cent Sales Tax

As a proactive measure, L.A City imposed a new sales tax that targets to deal with homelessness. The tax boosted the budget for dealing with homelessness to more than $600 million, while a bond issuance injected $1.2 billion towards the construction of an estimated 10,000 housing units over the next 10 years. These structures would be reserved for the people transitioning off the streets or in danger of ending up on the streets. The county has taken about 16 percent if the funds and packaged it as a voucher to offer a share to the homeless people, allowing them to buy into the rental marketplace with the understanding that their subsidy would eventually fade off over the course of the year, shifting the burden to new renters.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. While the county is right to want a program that would see homeless people becoming more self-sufficient, the steep monthly increases as the vouchers fade off will outpace the low wage, part-time work recipients are able to salvage. Most people don’t see it as a turnaround point, to start off a better and stable life, rather, they see it as a one-year reprieve.

Homelessness Might Be the New Normal

Before the city’s new homelessness count was released, the mayor for the Los Angeles County had been touting the fact that he’d moved about 20,000 people from the streets of Los Angeles. However, what he failed to understand is that while his administration was moving about 380 people off the streets each week, some 480 others were actively joining the streets. Unless someone does something about the homelessness crisis in the county, this might be our new reality. While building new structures seem like the only way to deal with homelessness, it might be too much to ask. Like I had mentioned earlier, there is this notion that most homeless people are facing some form of illness. The slice of the homeless Angelenos dealing with a mental problem is believed to be 25 percent which is quite a substantial figure.

It is also worthwhile noting that Los Angeles attracts quite a huge number of homeless young adults from elsewhere in the United States and also from abroad. These populations present a complicated situation for city officials. However, the fact that these groups of people are the minority in the large homeless population, that alone should give us hope that the majority of the city’s homeless population could be reached through a more conventional public policy means such as reforms to increase housing supply.

10 years from now, if the state of Los Angeles and the California county as a whole could start to move the median rents downwards as a result of a denser building, Skid Row and others will still exist, but only to house people who are facing serious battles with mental health and addiction.  The city would have more resources and capacity to focus more on helping the hardest cases. Getting to this point is the hard part, but for you, it doesn’t have to be. why, because The Power Is Now Media is here to help you. Do you feel the pain of paying hefty amounts of cash towards rent? I understand if you do.  Believe it or not, today it is possible to get your own home without investing anything in downpayment or closing cost.  Speak to one of our VIP agent agents to help you start your homeownership journey, to check to see if we have agents in your county by clicking the following link https://thepowerisnow.com/vipagentsservices/.  You can also contact me directly for a referral if we do not have an agent in your area.  Stay up to date with current real estate news and housing developments, by visiting our blogs page at https://thepowerisnow.com/blog/ daily.   If you’d like to set an appointment and speak to me directly, use the following link, https://calendly.com/thepowerisnow/

 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions of Eric Lawrence Frazier are his own and do not necessarily represent views of First Bank or any organization affiliated with Eric Lawrence Frazier or the Power Is Now Media Inc.  First Bank is an Equal Credit Opportunity Lender. Eric Lawrence Frazier MBA is also a Vice President and Mortgage Advisor with First Bank.  NMLS#461807 and a California Licensed Real Estate Broker DRE# 01143482. Email:  Eric.frazier@fbol.com.  Ph: 714- 475-8629.

Eric Lawrence Frazier MBA
President and CEO
The Power Is Now Media Inc.

 

References

Bachega, H. (2018, October 7). Homeless in the US: A deepening crisis on the streets of America. BBC News. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45442596

Gallagher, T. (2019). Homelessness Is a National Crisis. Retrieved August 20, 2019, from US News & World Report website: https://www.usnews.com/news/healthiest-communities/articles/2019-03-04/commentary-homelessness-is-a-national-crisis

Golgowski, N. (2019, August 2). America’s Homeless Crisis Is Inspiring New Acts Of Cruelty. Retrieved August 20, 2019, from HuffPost Canada website: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/cruel-ways-homeless-punished_n_5d35ee4ee4b004b6adb3cc7d?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAHN7daFMj-5yjz6nNgI0znyViy7KX_JFsjASpuy00yuHs8xMF9dmuPvjnn0kgOQOa4zfJUcZVoj-GVs55XmvnsabW4m-cvaE-DEcC2H2PauXBW3IvbLSqDVY8GVoUc-oJrFjpB39HFQTCn2WEGxYd-30_QkdTAJ04I2lsTVuRlbc

Homeless Populations Are Surging in Los Angeles. Here’s Why. (2019, June 5). The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/05/us/los-angeles-homeless-population.html

Moorhead, J. (2019). LA’s homeless crisis: too many tents, too few beds. Retrieved August 20, 2019, from CNN website: https://edition.cnn.com/2019/06/18/politics/los-angeles-homeless-crisis/index.html

Neiditch, D. (2017, April 18). How Bad is Homelessness In America? Retrieved August 20, 2019, from HuffPost website: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-bad-is-homelessness-in-america-really_b_58f6916de4b0c892a4fb736f

OAK Measure W – Vacant Property Tax. (2018, October 29). Retrieved August 20, 2019, from SPUR website: https://www.spur.org/voter-guide/oakland-2018-11/measure-w-vacant-property-tax

Reihan Salam. (2019, June 19). How to Solve Los Angeles’s Homelessness Crisis. Retrieved August 20, 2019, from The Atlantic website: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/06/how-solve-los-angeless-homelessness-crisis/591976/

Smith, D. (2019, June 6). Garcetti faces heat over L.A.’s homeless crisis but remains optimistic. Is he being realistic? Retrieved August 20, 2019, from Los Angeles Times website: https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-eric-garcetti-homeless-housing-instagram-count-affordable-rise-20190606-story.html

Trent, S. (2018). Measure W proposes a tax on vacant properties in Oakland. Retrieved August 20, 2019, from Oakland North website: https://oaklandnorth.net/2018/11/01/measure-w-proposes-a-tax-on-vacant-properties-in-oakland/