The City of Los Angeles will receive $1.7 million from the State of California to rehouse 60 individuals as part of a $50 million initiative to clear encampments.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced the award of $50 million in grants to 19 communities throughout California on Thursday to provide shelter or housing for 1,401 individuals currently experiencing homelessness in encampments.

“Tackling the homelessness crisis is a matter of life and death,” said Governor Newsom. “California is taking on the unacceptable status quo with a historic response to house thousands of our most vulnerable community members at an unprecedented rate, and swiftly addressing the encampments that pose the greatest threat to health and safety.”

State efforts have cleared 431 encampments since programs began in September of last year and officials said they are on track to clear 1,000 by the end of this year.

Encampments have spread rapidly throughout Los Angeles and local efforts, including the $1.2 billion Proposition HHH have been criticized for being too expensive and too slow to make an impact. A recent report found that one project would cost as much as $837,000 for each housing unit.

Last year, Newsom announced a historic $12 billion effort to help get the most vulnerable Californians off the streets and get them the mental and behavioral health services they need.

His “California Blueprint” builds on the initial investment with a proposed $2 billion to advance behavioral health housing and encampment rehousing strategies, creating a total $14 billion package. The proposed $2 billion investment includes a $500 million expansion to the Encampment Resolution Grant program, building upon the initial $50 million investment for the program last year. The program is intended to fund local projects to rehouse unsheltered homeless individuals in encampments, position people living in encampments on paths to safe and stable housing, and to restore public spaces to their intended uses.

“The 19 communities selected to receive this funding are committed to human centered, scalable and replicable projects, and represent urban, rural and suburban communities across California,” said Lourdes Castro Ramírez, Secretary of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency and co-chair of Cal ICH. “We look forward to supporting these community-led efforts that connect housing, services and human supports, and to scale successful strategies and approaches with future funding as proposed in the Governor’s CA Blueprint budget.”

The Governor’s multi-year homeless housing plan will provide 55,000 new housing units and treatment slots, once fully implemented.

editor@smdp.com