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Home / News / Politics / Bass commits to audit of homelessness program amid legal dispute

Bass commits to audit of homelessness program amid legal dispute

by HeyWire AI
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Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass committed to funding an independent audit of the $250 million Inside Safe homelessness program during a call Friday with U.S. District Judge David O. Carter, who is overseeing a lawsuit alleging the city has fallen short on its shelter bed commitments.

Bass and several City Council members are in Paris preparing for the 2028 Olympic Games.

The lawsuit, initiated by the LA Alliance for Human Rights, claims that Los Angeles has not fulfilled the agreed-upon benchmarks for shelter creation from a 2022 settlement. During a two-day hearing, City Controller Kenneth Mejia expressed uncertainties about auditing Inside Safe’s funds, prompting Bass’s commitment to fund an independent audit, with Judge Carter selecting the auditor.

“Unfortunately, the council nor the taxpayers have gotten clear answers,” Bass said. The lack of consistent outreach to the unhoused and unclear funding outcomes exacerbate frustrations and signal the need for a precise overhaul, according to the mayor.

Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez stressed the necessity for “very clear outcomes associated with every dollar expended” by Inside Safe and noted the current transparency deficit.

Paramount to the dispute are the settlement terms, mandating 5,190 shelter and treatment beds by the end of 2023. However, the LA Alliance’s attorneys, including Elizabeth Mitchell, argue only 2,810 beds have been established. Mitchell highlighted the severity of the crisis, stating that 2,000 unhoused individuals have perished on the city’s streets in the past 14 months.

The harsh realties have propelled the LA Alliance to propose a $100,000 weekly fine until Los Angeles meets its commitments, advocating for a $6.4 million penalty for settlement violations.

City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto countered by noting the city’s “full compliance” with the settlement terms and citing a lack of “actual damages.”

Carter voiced concerns about potential wastefulness in the city’s homelessness expenditures, endorsing further scrutiny and goal-achievement monitoring.

Bass and Council President Paul Krekorian are slated to return to court on March 18 to formally put the audit deal in place.

As reported by KNX News

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