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Housing and Homelessness

City Of Santa Monica Declares Local State Of Emergency On Homelessness

A person covered in blankets sleeps in the sand under a pier as a woman with light-tone skin walks nearby carrying trash.
Santa Monica has declared a state of emergency to deal with an ongoing homelessness crisis. In photo from last September, a person sleeps on the beach under the city's famous pier.
(Apu Gomes
AFP via Getty Images)
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The Santa Monica City Council this week declared a state of emergency on homelessness, joining a number of other local governments — including the both L.A. city and county — in such declarations.

Why it matters

The emergency declaration allows Santa Monica to:

  • Advocate for more funding and resources, at the state, federal, and county level
  • Work to remove barriers to affordable housing
  • Streamline the hiring process for staff that will focus on homelessness prevention efforts

“The reality is that we cannot address this crisis on our own, and we need our regional, state, and federal partners to support us,” said Santa Monica City Manager David White in a statement.

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One example of how the city will move forward: City officials anticipate being able to use resources from their Affordable Housing Trust Fund resources (currently, $25 million) to incentive affordable housing initiatives.

About the homelessness crisis in Santa Monica

The city's last point-in-time count of unhoused people reported 807 people in Santa Monica experiencing homelessness, including those who live in temporary shelter and those who don't. That survey was conducted in February 2022. It also found that the number of unsheltered people experiencing homelessness stayed consistent with 2020.

In L.A. County, the most recent available count of people experiencing homelessness found an estimated 69,144 do not have permanent housing on any given night.

What's next

The statement of emergency is in effect for 180 days but can be extended by the city council.

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