Press Conf.—L.A.’s 2019 Homeless Count to Rise Despite $619M in Gov’t Spending
ADVOCATES’ PRESS CONFERENCE Tues., June 4th 12:00 PM – KING EDWARD HOTEL, DTLA
As L.A. officials release the 2019 homeless count, housing justice and homeless advocates will blast L.A.’s expensive, largely ineffectual approach to its homeless and affordable housing crises and recommend the ‘Three Ps: Protect Tenants, Preserve Communities and Produce Housing.’
AHF also launches new L.A. billboard campaign: ‘Homelessness Kills’ and ‘Gentrification Sucks.’
LOS ANGELES (June 3, 2019) On Tuesday, June 4th—the day Los Angeles officials formally release the region’s 2019 homeless count—housing justice and homeless advocates with ‘Housing Is A Human Right,’ ‘Healthy Housing Foundation by AHF,’ ‘Coalition to Preserve LA,’ AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and other groups will host a PRESS CONFERENCE on the homeless numbers and criticize government officials’ response to the crisis, including their expensive and largely ineffectual approach to the human catastrophe of homelessness in Los Angeles.
The press conference will be held June 4th at 12:00 pm PT at the King Edward Hotel (121 E. 5th Street, L.A., CA 90013), a historic 150-room single room occupancy (SRO) hotel built in 1906 on edge of L.A.’s Skid Row—and now a practical example of ‘adaptive reuse’—which Healthy Housing Foundation by AHF purchased in April 2018 and repurposed as homeless and extremely-low-income housing.
WHAT: PRESS CONFERENCE: 2019 L.A. HOMELESS COUNT RELEASED—Advocates to comment on L.A.’s response to homeless crisis; urge officials to adopt ‘The Three Ps’: Protect Tenants, Preserve Communities and Produce Housing’ and pursue ‘adaptive reuse’ of old SRO hotels to repurpose as Jeff Lewishomeless housing.
WHEN: Tuesday, June 4, 2019 12:00 pm (noon)
WHERE: King Edward Hotel 121 East 5th Street (at Los Angeles St), L.A., CA 90013
WHO: Michael Weinstein, president, AHF
- Jill Stewart, executive director, Coalition to Preserve LA
- René Moya, director, Housing is a Human Right
- Clemente Franco, Land Use Attorney, South Central Neighborhood Council
- Susan Hunter, Healthy Housing Foundation (HHF)
- Other housing advocates TBD
TV DESKS: Consider going LIVE from the King Edward Hotel throughout the day with homeless count stories
B-ROLL: Tours of the King Edward Hotel, and a sample redone hotel room
According to the Los Angeles Times, “Los Angeles will release numbers from its homeless population count … and officials are expecting the number to rise even though the region spent $619 million last year on the problem.” The newspaper separately and previously reported that “The 2018 count stated there were 53,195 homeless people in Los Angeles County.”
At the press conference, housing advocates will also urge government agencies and officials—who have forced the public, including many homeless individuals, to wait three years for the first Measure HHH homeless housing units to come online later this year—to adopt an approach they are branding as the “Three Ps’—‘Protect Tenants, Preserve Communities and Produce Housing.”
In response to the expected—and understood to be significant—increase in homeless numbers in Los Angeles to be announced Tuesday, Michael Weinstein, president of AHF offered this statement: “L.A.’s homeless crisis is a failure of imagination and will built on a foundation of corruption at City Hall. History will cast a very harsh judgement on us for lavishing privileges on billionaire developers while thousands died on the pavement. It is quite simply a moral outrage and a disgrace. Every single additional day that goes by when a single person must endure this indignity in one of the richest cities in the world reflects poorly on all of us. Our mayor and city council must be held accountable or we are all responsible.”
Housing Justice Groups to Urge L.A. Officials to Adopt SRO Model for Homeless
Last week, the Los Angeles City Council passed a record $10.6 billion budget that includes $457 million earmarked for homeless programs. More than half of that funding will come from the Measure HHH bond.
Measure HHH, the well-intentioned Los Angeles City ballot measure authorizing $1.2 billion in bonds to pay for the construction of 10,000 units of housing for homeless people and that passed with 76% of the vote in November 2016, will not house its first residents until 4th quarter of 2019, when the first projects are completed—which city officials estimate at a cost of over $500,000 per housing unit.
During the Tuesday press conference, housing advocates will urge City and County of Los Angeles officials to adopt the SRO hotel model for homeless housing that Healthy Housing Foundation by AHF has been successfully deploying since October 2017 with the purchase of the Madison Hotel and its other hotels. The four properties HHF purchased and redeployed for homeless housing have nearly 600 rooms (583).
Snapshot of The Homeless Crisis: Los Angeles 2017-2019
- The official 2019 homeless count in Los Angeles County—to be released TODAY (6/4) & is expected to rise.
- The official 2018 homeless count in Los Angeles County was 53,195, a slight dip from 2017.
- The 2017 homeless count in Los Angeles County was nearly 58,000 (57,794), a 23% INCREASE from 2016.
- That sharp rise, to nearly 58,000 in 2017, suggests that the pathway into homelessness continues to outpace intensifying efforts that — through rent subsidies, new construction, outreach and support services — got more than 14,000 people permanently off the streets last year. (Los Angeles Times, 5/31/17)
AHF Rolls Out New ‘Homelessness Kills’ and ‘Gentrification Sucks’ Billboard Campaign in L.A. Last week, AHF launched a new billboard advocacy campaign intended put the spotlight on the burgeoning homeless and housing crisis in Los Angeles. The campaign, appearing on over 30 billboards and 100 bus bench ads throughout greater Los Angeles, includes two different messages: ‘Homelessness Kills’ and the second, ‘Gentrification Sucks’. The only additional text on the ‘Homeless’ billboards is the web address for ‘LAScandal.org’ where people can get information on the homeless crisis, learn about the misguided response from government and elected officials and find links to directly contact their L.A. City Council Member or L.A. County Supervisor to urge them to act decisively and more quickly to address the crisis.
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 The Three Ps: ‘Protect Tenants’ – prevent gentrification and homelessness by keeping rents under control and discourage evictions, Preserve Communities’ support policies that maintain neighborhoods and allow working- and middle-class families to stay in their homes and apartments and ‘Produce Housing’ Produce truly affordable housing through adaptive reuse and cost-effective new construction.