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Home / Neighborhood / Los Angeles / LA to review processes for creating supportive housing

LA to review processes for creating supportive housing

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The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to review the city’s permitting, approval and communication processes for the creation of supportive and interim housing for unhoused Angelenos.

The vote was 11-0, with members Curren Price, Nithya Raman, Hugo Soto-Martinez and Kevin de León absent during the vote.

The motion, introduced by Councilman Bob Blumenfield, instructs several departments, including the mayor’s office, to review the processes and report back on the following, among other things:

  • A process map for each interim housing model;
  • Recommendations to further reduce construction timelines;
  • Recommendations to improve communication between city departments and contractors;
  • Updates to current processes to accommodate new models of interim housing; and
  • Options for waiving fees for permits.

The motion also calls for a review of interim site operator contracts with the purpose of enhancing “good neighbor” protocols. The city’s good neighbor policy ensures a housing operator is a good partner to the surrounding community, such as addressing their concerns around public safety, maintaining the outside of the facility and making sure residents are not causing trouble.

According to Blumenfield’s motion, in 2018 the city declared a shelter crisis with the intent to expedite the building of interim shelters to address the homelessness crisis. The city’s June 2020 Roadmap Agreement commits to building a minimum of 6,700 beds, with Los Angeles County providing funding for these projects.

As of June 20, 7,002 new Roadmap beds were open and occupied. The city also decided to build “pallet” units, or “cabins” or “tiny homes,” which are small, detached and prefabricated housing shelters.

One promised benefit of using prefabricated units was that both installation and replacement of damaged or destroyed units would be a quick and simple process, according to the motion.

However, it can take weeks to replace cabins as the process requires coordination with the onsite operator, submission of new plans and additional inspections, as well as the payment of permits and associated fees.

The motion intends to make improvements to those processes.

“As the city’s inventory of interim housing grows, the need to add amenities based on the resident feedback and to bring other models of prefabricated units will require greater attention from city departments,” the motion reads.

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