According to watchdog group Open the Books, the city of Los Angeles dedicated $1.2 billion in 2016 to try and fight homelessness through building affordable housing units.
Since the program was approved, about 1,200 units have been completed – with some units costing taxpayers over $700,000 each, according to a city audit. One project currently underway is estimated to cost almost $837,000 per unit.
“The plan was to get the homeless people in Los Angeles into permanent housing to get them off the street and make no mistake, Los Angeles has a big problem when it comes to the homeless,” said Open The Books’ Adam Andrzejewski to The National Desk’s Jan Jeffcoat. “In 2016, that $1.2 billion ordinance passed. It was a bond proposal for permanent housing for the homeless. And today, there are more people that are unhoused than ever before in the city of Los Angeles.”
While the homelessness crisis continues, Andrzejewski said a “bureaucratic culture” sprung up in the city.
“In city government, there are about 750 employees dedicated to housing and community development, and the top employee in that department makes more than a White House cabinet official,” said Andrzejewski.
According to polling by The Los Angeles Times and the L.A. Business Council Institute, nearly 40% of voters in the city feel “significantly unsafe”due to homelessness in their neighborhoods.