Study after study has shown that homelessness is the greatest issue on L.A. voters’ minds, and yet our unhoused population increases by the day. Under Mayor Eric Garcetti, homelessness has nearly doubled. According to the official city homeless count, the number of unhoused Angelenos increased by 14.2% from 2019 to 2020 alone. And experts agree that after the pandemic, we will be seeing even bigger increases.
Many candidates in Los Angeles have proposed incremental improvements to the homelessness crisis. What I propose is enacting a plan to end it: the MOVE Plan.
MATCH (M): Create systems that address some of the root causes of homelessness, including the creation of new drug rehabilitation programs, mental healthcare services, and resources for unhoused youth. Match these programs up with the people who need them. Not only will these solutions help those who are currently on our streets, but it will provide resources that stop more people from becoming homeless in the first place.
OPTIMIZE (O): In 2019, the city of Los Angeles owned approximately 2200 vacant lots. Open these lots to unhoused people for camping and parking. By transitioning our homeless population into these lots, street homelessness could be eliminated in a matter of weeks or months. Other lots will be sold to developers, on the condition that they devote a percentage of units within their new buildings to housing the unhoused. 100% of the profits from these sales will go directly to funding other homeless programs.
VACANCY TAX (V): The goal of the MOVE Plan is to match people with resources, as well as housing. There is an embarrassingly high number of vacant apartments, condos, and hotel rooms in the city. I will implement a vacancy tax on rental properties, investment properties, and third houses. This tax will accomplish two things: tax revenue will go toward homelessness efforts, and the existence of the vacancy tax would encourage owners to rent out their properties. A similar system would be added for hotels filled with too many vacant rooms. If a certain percentage of rooms are consistently unoccupied, hotels too will be charged a vacancy tax; this can be paid by providing rooms as temporary transitional housing for the unhoused.
EXPAND (E): The city will begin to buy old residences, abandoned malls and shopping centers, and hotels in order to convert them into high-quality, low-cost residences. My administration will also collaborate with the Governor of California to get abandoned homes owned by the state, such as those under CalTrans, converted into legal residences for the unhoused.
Through the Housing First policies of our administration, our city can end homelessness without raising your taxes a penny.
1) I will take a Housing First approach to completely end homelessness without raising taxes and make sure that every person is able to live in a safe home.
2) The City of Los Angeles owns an excessive amount of vacant lots in Los Angeles, and they should be opened immediately to our unhoused neighbors.
3) I will work to end all subsidies and tax cuts to corporate hotels and luxury developments, and instead create easy and accessible paths to building sustainable affordable housing and high-rise residences that make better use of land area.