LOS ANGELES – As the vote on a quarter-cent sales tax increase to fund the fight against homelessness approaches, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors promised Tuesday to create a transparent process for spending the money should the measure pass.
Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Sheila Kuehl proposed “an inclusive planning process which draws on the experience, expertise and wisdom of cities, homeless service providers and experts, the faith and business communities, formerly homeless individuals and county departments.”
Measure H, on the March 7 ballot, is expected to raise about $350 million annually for a decade. It requires approval by two-thirds of voters to pass.
Our objective here is to evidence that we are serious about accountability, serious about transparency,” Ridley-Thomas said.
The money could be used for mental health and substance abuse treatment, medical care, education and job training, as well as housing for the homeless.
“We can only succeed if we have the input and support of the very civic and community leaders who are going to help us house the 47,000 people currently homeless in the county,” Kuehl said.
The county has committed to hire an independent auditor to report on Measure H spending as well as setting up a citizens’ oversight advisory board that would track allocations.
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