Los Angeles is in a homelessness crisis, and with the winter and a possibly destructive El Niño coming, some steps are being taken to at least attempt to keep those living on the streets safe from the elements. But new staggering numbers from the federal government underscore the fact that there are record numbers of people living on the streets, rain or shine. Los Angeles and LA County "have the most chronically homeless people in the country, and nearly all of them sleep on the streets," according to new numbers out from the Housing and Urban Development Department, the LA Times reports.
The figures, released today, show that the chronically homeless population in LA has grown 55 percent since 2013, and is now up to 12,536. Chronically homeless people are defined by the government as those who are disabled and without housing for a year, or those who have lived on the street "several times" over a three-year period. LA's numbers left second-place New York City in the dust, beating its "one-year increase, the second largest, 3 to 1."
A rep for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority noted that LA has also tripped up on building affordable units. The city's producing just a fifth of the supportive housing it actually needs to be building in order to meet the demand. And this is in a city where even the average income earner still has to pay nearly half their wages toward rent, and wages lag farther behind rents than anywhere else in the US.
· L.A. tops nation in chronic homeless population [LAT]
· Mapping the Widespread Homelessness That Runs Throughout Los Angeles County [Curbed LA]
· Los Angeles Has the Biggest Disconnect in the US Between Wages and Rents [Curbed LA]