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Mayor Bass Declares State Of Emergency On Homelessness In LA

Mayor Karen Bass stands at a podium, backed by a diverse group of city officials. She is wearing a black suit jacket and glasses.
Mayor Bass, flanked by County Board of Supervisors Chair Janice Hahn (left) and City Council President Paul Krekorian (right), announces the state of emergency.
(Screenshot from LA CityView)
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Mayor Karen Bass fulfilled a campaign promise on her first day when she declared a state of emergency on homelessness Monday morning. She said she will provide more details on her plan, “Inside Safe,” in the coming days.

Why declare a state of emergency? Homelessness is one of the foremost political and human rights issues in Los Angeles right now — roughly 42,000 people are unhoused in the city. Bass said the goal of the declaration is to form a “unified approach.”

What do we know about the plan? While Bass didn’t get into specifics, she shared some of what Inside Safe will entail. She wants housing offerings to be near the same community where the unhoused person lives. “They must be coupled with real efforts of permanent housing because temporary housing needs to be just that — temporary,” she said.

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The mayor said Inside Safe will include an "aggressive" strategy of "master leasing apartment and motel rooms across the city." Bass said she’ll use emergency powers to remove “roadblocks” that hinder service and “fast track” the opening of permanent housing programs.

What happens next? The City Council has to ratify the resolution. Council President Paul Krekorian said the council will take that up tomorrow, which is the first meeting with newly-elected members. Multiple council members were present at Bass’ press conference, so it’s likely to pass easily.

Watch the full event below:

As L.A. Mayor Karen Bass begins her term, tell us what issues feel most urgent to you.