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Los Angeles Finally Getting Some Money to Address Homelessness

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A federal grant will help create more than 9,000 housing units

With city leaders scratching their heads about where to come up with more than $1.8 billion to fund a comprehensive homeless assistance bill, Los Angeles got some welcome news today in the form of an $84.2 million grant from the federal government. The grant was awarded to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development for use in "renewal projects" across the city and county, including housing.

In a statement announcing the award, LAHSA said that the money would help to fund 180 projects that will cumulatively provide 9,347 units and beds for homeless Angelenos. "This $84 million in Tier 1 homeless assistance funding is a strong vote of confidence by our federal partners in the strategic work Los Angeles has undertaken to end homelessness," says LAHSA Executive Director Peter Lynn.

Last year, LAHSA revealed that rates of homelessness have risen sharply in Los Angeles since 2013, setting off a flurry of response from local government officials. For every well-intended potential solution to the problem, however, there is the problem of money. And while LA waits on potential assistance from the state, it continues to fall behind in providing adequate winter (and other) services for unsheltered residents.

LAHSA hopes that in the end, it will receive even more than this $84.2 million. The grants that HUD handed out today were considered high priority Tier 1 awards, with Tier 2 awards being announced at a later date. LAHSA is optimistic that it will receive an additional $28 million later in the year to help fund 32 permanent housing projects.