LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to find ways to work more collaboratively with cities to solve the problem of homelessness.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger recommended streamlining processes to grant Measure H dollars to local cities and homelessness agencies. Putting some of the $355 million in Measure H funds — raised through a quarter-cent sales tax – – to work in city-specific programs has been challenging, due to a lack of communication and data sharing across governmental entities, according to her motion. [View the motion here]
“The common theme among our cities is a sense of frustration,” Barger said.
Barger called for more transparency around how that money is being spent, including city-level data on Measure H-funded services.
The board also directed staffers to set up regular listening sessions.
Barger and Supervisor Hilda Solis, who co-authored the motion, said solutions are not one-size-fits-all in a county that includes 88 separate cities.
In September and again in January, the board approved a total of $12.8 million in funding for city-specific plans to prevent homelessness. A breakdown of $3.8 million in awards shows that about 40 percent of the dollars were granted for feasibility studies related to affordable housing and about half was awarded to hire staffers to work with homeless individuals.
However, the summary also reveals that more than $5 million in requests from cities was not funded at all. In some cases, a partial award was granted and other elements were deemed ineligible or a duplication of centralized county programs, like training. But 17 applications from cities were not funded at all and listed as eligible for resubmission.
Supervisor Janice Hahn said making the contracting process easier would encourage cities to do their part.
“Every city needs to do a little bit or we’re never going to solve this problem,” Hahn said.
A report is expected back in 30 days.