Use Vacant Public Properties to Shelter Homeless in Los Angeles

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End Homelessness Now-LA is a grassroots campaign that was formed to urge city & county governments to deploy their vacant and underused land & buildings to build, own, and run permanent supportive public housing.

Today, as the homelessness catastrophe is compounded by the COVID-19 epidemic and the plague of systemic racism, the emphasis must be on permanent supportive public housing.  Rampant discrimination in housing and employment have resulted in vast over representation of Black people and other people of color among the unhoused.  We are alarmed that government officials at all levels are focusing most of their efforts on temporary shelters and short-term leases of hotel and motel rooms.  Putting hundreds of cots together in recreation centers and other large rooms only invites further spread of the disease.  Although the state may buy some of the motels, they and all levels of government must create or acquire a lot more long-term public housing.  Dumping people out of temporary places after the worst of the crisis passes in obscenely cruel.  Failing to immediately provide restrooms, showers, hand washing stations, garbage pick-up, and food to those still living outside is simply criminal.

Demands:

Therefore, End Homelessness Now - LA and the undersigned call on city, county, state, and federal governments to immediately:

  1. Open and retrofit all of their empty and underused buildings for permanent public housing where people can protect themselves in separate spaces now and in the future;
  2. Quickly build permanent supportive public housing on large vacant lots, using modular and other innovative construction.  If China can build large hospitals in two weeks, we can do the same with permanent public housing.
  3. Turn parking lots and other vacant space into trailer parks with utility hookups where trailers, RVs, and even cars that are being lived in can gather in safe areas with centralized services.  Then, keep those trailer parks open for as places for permanent low-cost homes.
  4. Eliminate all zoning and planning barriers to immediate implementation of the above demands.