Speaking at the city’s Emergency Operations Center on Monday, newly-inaugurated Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass declared a “State of Emergency on Homelessness” in her first major act in office, suspending rules that slow efforts to move people off the street.
Bass issued a formal declaration and a statement:
Today, as her first act in office, Mayor Karen Bass declared a state of emergency on homelessness and activated the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The declaration recognizes the severity of Los Angeles’ crisis and breaks new ground to maximize the city’s ability to urgently move people inside.
“My mandate is to move Los Angeles in a new direction, with an urgent and strategic approach to solving our city’s toughest challenges and creating a brighter future for every Angeleno,” said Mayor Bass. “Today, on my first day in office, we hit the ground running, with a sea change in how the city tackles homelessness.”
The order immediately gives Mayor Bass the power to lift rules and regulations that slow or prevent the building of permanent and temporary housing for the unhoused; to expedite contracts that prioritize bringing unhoused Angelenos inside; and that allow the city to acquire rooms, properties and land for housing for Angelenos in need. Moving forward, Mayor Bass will issue executive directives to advance these critical reforms.
Homelessness has risen dramatically in the Democrat-run L.A. in recent years. The latest homeless count, released in September, showed that 69,144 people were homeless in L.A. County, of which 41,980 live within the City of Los Angeles.