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Here’s How LA’s Going to Build Its Way Out of Homelessness

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It's going to involve building at a "massive scale"

Los Angeles is preparing to put a $1.2-billion bond on the November ballot that, if approved by voters, would fund the construction of housing for the homeless. That would kickstart the city into building a lot, fast. But before it could build, the city would need land, and the the Los Angeles Times says officials are already preparing to buy hundreds of properties over the next decade, "from nuisance motels to underused parking lots."

City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana tells the Times the city would have to create a, "housing machine that has a single purpose and focus ... And that focus is to build at a massive scale."

State and federal laws require the city to own the land, but it doesn’t have to own the actual structures. So, it’s likely the sites would be rented cheaply, "for $1 a year," to developers experienced in building permanent supportive housing, according to the Times.

Santana says his office is working to speed up approval process for housing in advance of the bond passing. And, city officials are waiting to see if they’ll be allowed to use the bond money to, "provide direct loans and grants to developers of homeless housing," a move that hasn’t yet been cleared by the city's bond counsel.