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Los Angeles’ first female mayor declares state of emergency for homelessness

Karen Bass, the new mayor of Los Angeles, has issued a declaration of a state of emergency for homelessness in the city.

Ms. Bass, a longtime congresswoman who defeated billionaire developer Rick Caruso in November to win the mayoral election, made the city’s housing and homelessness crisis a focal point of her inaugural address on Sunday. and the goal of his first day in office on Monday. .

“This will create the structure necessary for us to have a truly unified, city-wide strategy to put us on the path to solving homelessness,” Ms Bass said of the emergency declaration in comments reported by NBC Los Angeles.

Ms. Bass appeared Monday at a press conference with Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Janice Hahn and scandal-ridden Los Angeles City Council Speaker PaulKrekorian to announce her statement. Ms Bass, who previously promised to house 17,000 people in her first year as mayor, will likely need to work with leaders and a wide range of elected officials and community leaders to bolster social service programs.

“It’s a matter of life and death and that’s exactly how my administration is going to deal with it,” Ms. Bass tweeted. “It’s a new day in Los Angeles.”

Like many major cities in the United States, particularly on the West Coast, Los Angeles faces increasing numbers of homelessness due to a combination of factors, including an inadequate and expensive housing supply. A recent study by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority found that there are nearly 70,000 people living on city streets.

The emergency declaration gives Ms. Bass and the city expanded powers to deal with the crisis in multiple ways, although it remains to be seen how Ms. Bass plans to use those powers. In her inaugural address, Ms. Bass said the city needed to build new housing.

“We know our mission: we have to build housing in every neighborhood,” said Ms. Bass. “We cannot continue to overcrowd already overcrowded neighborhoods. And the best way to do that is for neighbors to work together and decide where homes should be built. We cannot continue to overcrowd neighborhoods that are already overcrowded.

Increasing housing supply may be the most effective long-term strategy to tackle the housing crisis, but Ms Bass stressed the need to secure short-term housing for those without housing, including renting apartments and motel rooms to provide temporary shelter.

The Independent Gt

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