LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Housing justice advocates from AHF and its housing advocacy arm, Housing Is A Human Right (HHR), will run a new advocacy ad in the Los Angeles Times focusing on the years-long failed approaches by City and County officials to the homeless and housing affordability crises in Los Angeles. The ad suggests swift, system-wide overhauls that could result in more effective and faster solutions to the ongoing—and sadly increasing—problem. It is set to run this Sunday, March 14, 2021.
Provocatively headlined “L.A. Is a City That Doesn’t Work,” the full-page, four-color newspaper ad takes the form of an old, yellowed newspaper from a bygone era with the banner: “Housing News.” The ad also features a present day photo of an overflowing, trash strewn tent encampment, and a sub-headline asks, “How Did Homelessness Get This Bad?”
The ad notes:
“Los Angeles was once a City we could be proud of, but the lack of leadership and a clear path forward has left us with a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions.”
It also identifies behaviors and actions that became roadblocks to mounting a truly effective region-wide response to the crisis, including:
Corporate Developers continue to build market rate and luxury housing, to the exclusion of very-low-income and low-income residents. We are spending taxpayer money to build units that are out of reach for the people who need it most.
Developments for homeless housing are mired in red tape, with inspectors from the same department approving and then rejecting plans and upgrades, leaving nonprofit housing developers with no roadmap to bring critical housing online.
After voters approved Measure HHH, the City did not enact cost controls on housing and spent upwards of $500,000 to $700,000 for small units of homeless housing. For what they spent, it would have been less expensive to purchase condominiums and create homeownership.
Motel conversions to permanent housing are facing red tape and code restrictions that leave units vacant while people die on the streets.
However, AHF’s homeless advocacy ad is not solely intended to criticize the status quo of our homeless response. The advocates also suggest concrete, sometimes very basic actions that could help improve the regional response throughout Greater Los Angeles. Among these ideas:
Lower the cost to build units using prefabricated modular housing or take advantage of existing structures, like motels, by utilizing adaptive re-use.
Stop the bureaucratic red tape and green light motel conversions and new homeless housing, recognizing that homelessness is a public health and humanitarian crisis that represents an emergency.
Stop wasting money on temporary fixes and solutions that are a revolving door back into homelessness and spend it instead on permanent housing. Taxpayers spend $35,000 to $45,000 per person that is chronically homeless and spends much less for those who are in permanent housing.
Take advantage of vacant units throughout the City and County of Los Angeles to place our unhoused community into permanent housing.
Last week (Sunday, March 7, 2021) AHF ran another full-page Los Angeles Times ad celebrating its Healthy Housing Foundation (HHF). HHF, which launched in late 2017 and is the housing production arm of AHF, provides decent housing units at an affordable cost to low-income people, including families with children, and those previously unsheltered or homeless. That advocacy ad, headlined “AHF’s Family of Housing,” was a brightly colored collage of old photos and renderings of several of the older hotels and motels that AHF has purchased over the past three-and-a-half years to refurbish and repurpose as extremely-low-income housing. Since 2017, AHF has purchased nine old SRO hotels and motels in Greater Los Angeles and created nearly 900 housing units.