LA Mayor Karen Bass says answer to 40K homeless is ‘building housing everywhere’ – like it or not

It appears newly elected Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass plans to tackle her city’s homelessness crisis by building homes for every homeless resident, even if the home is built in a neighborhood that doesn’t want the homeless living there in the first place.

She expressed as much during an appearance Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”


During the appearance, host Chuck Todd asked her about an emergency declaration she’d just signed Friday.

“You talk about the issues you have with developers. The biggest issue the city sometimes has when it comes to tackling these housing issues are these homeowners’ associations. They’re extraordinarily litigious and extraordinarily powerful. Does your emergency declaration give you any more authority in dealing with these powerful institutions or not?” he asked.

Basically, HOAs in Los Angeles have been preventing the city from building homes for the homeless — i.e., “affordable housing” — in their neighborhoods. And what Todd wanted to know was whether Bass’ emergency declaration gives her the power to override the HOAs.

“It does give me more authority to do that. But I do think there’s a way to get neighborhoods to cooperate. You know, this problem is so severe in our city. In mean, literally five people a day die on our streets. It’s so severe that I think some of the resistance that we’ve experienced in the past I’m hoping will be softened,” Bass replied.

“So there’s some neighborhoods that want buildings to be built in certain areas, but it’s still within their general neighborhood. You cannot address 40,000 [homeless] without building housing everywhere. You can’t just build all of the housing in the low-income areas that are already overcrowded,” she added.

Signed Friday, her emergency declaration specifically orders “city departments to rid their procedures of the bottlenecks that slow development of affordable housing and shelters,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

“Bass’ first executive directive instructs the departments responsible for processing affordable housing and shelter applications to complete all reviews within 60 days. Such reviews typically take six to nine months,” the Times reported Friday.

“Another key element waives discretionary reviews on projects that do not require zoning changes. Currently those reviews, which can include public hearings and additional environmental reports, are required on all projects of 50 units or more. To avoid those reviews, developers have often planned projects of 49 units when the zoning would have allowed more.”

And so the emergency declaration basically calls for the local deregulation of housing, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

The problem, critics say, is that the city’s homelessness crisis has little to do with “affordable housing” and much more to do with mental health and drug abuse.


According to critics, the problem also has to do with lack of police enforcement caused by liberal bleeding-heart policies.

For instance, during the interview Sunday, Bass also announced that she’ll no longer allow the police to perform homeless camp “sweeps.”

During a sweep, the police “sweep” into an area and boot the disruptive homeless residents who’ve set up shop there.

“Sweeps” are extremely useful for clearing the homeless out of public spaces, but many liberal cities have banned them. It appears LA is about to as well.



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Vivek Saxena


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