Los Angeles will vote in 2024 on whether hotels must accommodate homeless people in unbooked rooms

Portland is grappling with a housing crisis that has left thousands of people sleeping on the streets each night, and downtown conditions that are causing corporate clients to cancel their hotel bookings.

Faced with similar problems, another West Coast city is considering an eye-opening solution: using empty hotel rooms for overnight shelters.

A highly controversial measure that would require Los Angeles County hotels to accommodate homeless residents in unbooked rooms each night will appear on the November 2024 ballot.

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously last week to put the measure to a vote, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Naysayers of the measure argue that hotels and motels are not trained to deal with drug-induced behavior, addiction and mental illness — and that doing so could create inflammatory situations. Proponents responded that hoteliers exaggerated the difficulty of accommodating people whose key problem was that they could not afford rising California housing costs.

LA’s homeless population is significantly larger than Portland’s. The last time Los Angeles County released numbers, in 2020, the county had 66,436 people affected by homelessness. Multnomah County’s last census was a fraction of that: 5,228 people.

But the proportion of homeless people is about the same: 0.6%.

Feeling the deepening of the crisis, major West Coast cities are struggling to find interim solutions while waiting for low-income and subsidized housing to be built.

Which begs the obvious question: If a Southern city councilor, anticipating the same pressures as Portland, sends such a measure to a vote, might Portland leaders follow suit?

Just last week, ww reported that Mayor Ted Wheeler will present his colleagues with an ordinance that would waive certain fees for developers who agree to convert office space into workers’ housing.

https://www.wweek.com/news/city/2022/09/04/los-angeles-will-vote-in-2024-on-whether-to-require-hotels-to-shelter-homeless-people-in-unbooked-rooms/ Los Angeles will vote in 2024 on whether hotels must accommodate homeless people in unbooked rooms

Mike Fahey

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