LA voters to make call on forcing hotels to house the homeless alongside paying guests

Voters in Los Angeles will weigh in on a proposal that could force city hotel owners to open their vacant rooms to the homeless, despite concerns from hoteliers that the measure would have a negative impact on public safety.

(Video: Fox News)

 

The homeless crisis in the City of Angels has spiraled out of control. Viral videos on social media platforms show scores of makeshift tents lining city streets, crowding freeway underpasses, and spilling onto the beaches.

But according to Ray Patel, president of the Northeast Los Angeles Hotel Owners Association, requiring hotel owners to house the unhoused is not a long-term solution. He joined “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Sunday to discuss the controversial policy.

“This is not a solution, it’s just a temporary fix,” Patel told co-host Carley Shimkus.

While Project Roomkey may have been laudable as a COVID-era program, Patel says it didn’t go far enough to solve the root problems facing the city’s homeless.

“[D]uring Project Roomkey, a great example, they housed the unhoused in the hotels – but the government never provided an end solution,” he stated. “They never provided transitional services to permanent housing; and simply issuing hotel vouchers impacting our hotels and our marketability of those rooms to the pain tourist, corporate travelers and locals is not a solution now.”

Aspects of the proposed measure defy common sense, Patel stressed.

For example, if the voucher program is passed, hotels would be required to send the status of their vacant rooms for the day in by 2 p.m., before many guests have even checked in.

“That just doesn’t make sense because at 2 p.m., people are barely checking into the hotels, and they’re asking us to combine both populations in a hotel – the paying guests and those that have hotel vouchers that would be issued by the city,” Patel said.

With crime already surging across the city and drug addiction and mental health problems rampant within the homeless community, the safety of unsuspecting, paying guests is paramount.

“Our great concern is the safety of our guests, our staff, and also our neighbors that surround the business communities,” Patel stated.

In offering beautiful weather and progressive policies, Los Angeles has long been a destination for the homeless.

In 2019, then President Donald Trump threatened California Governor Gavin Newsom with the deployment of federal agents if he didn’t “fix the problem.”

“Governor Gavin has done a really bad job on taking care of the homeless population in California,” Trump tweeted at the time. “If he can’t fix the problem, the Federal Govt. will get involved!”

Sadly, the problem only became worse — not just in L.A., but across the nation — with the advent of the pandemic.

“According to the L.A. Homeless Services Authority, over 66,000 people were homeless in 2020, which was a 12% increase from 2019,” Fox News reports.

Patel said the problem has been “politicized,” but no solution has been offered.

“I think this is something that the government should have resolved long time ago,” he said. “It’s been politicized, and you’ll hear this from all the homeless advocate groups, too, looking for housing for the unhoused, as they seem to be taking on as a topic when politicians are running for office – but there’s no solution provided.”

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