by End Homelessness Now-LA
An April article in the LA Times, “Affordable housing can cost $1 million per apartment in California. Coronavirus could make it worse,” provides a powerful argument for creating and operating permanent public housing for low income and very low income members of our community.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has brutally revealed, a system based on every fat cat out to make the highest possible profit is categorically incapable of meeting human needs. Just as we need a universal, public healthcare system run by its workers, we need permanent housing that exists outside of the chaos of the private market. Profits should not be the motive force for who’s housed and who isn’t.
The End Homelessness Now-LA Campaign (EHN-LA) is alarmed that government officials at all levels are focusing most of their efforts on temporary shelters and short-term leases of hotel and motel rooms. Putting hundreds of cots together in recreation centers and other large rooms only invites further spread of the disease. Dumping people out of temporary places after the worst of the crisis passes is obscenely cruel. Instead, all levels of government should acquire and create enough high-quality, permanent, public housing to solve this emergency today and tomorrow.
Therefore, End Homelessness Now-LA calls on local governments to immediately:
- Open and retrofit all of their empty and underused buildings for permanent public housing where people can protect themselves in separate spaces now and in the future;
- Quickly build permanent supportive public housing on large vacant lots, using modular and other innovative construction. If China can build large hospitals in two weeks, we can do the same with permanent public housing.
- Turn parking lots and other vacant space into trailer parks with utility hookups where trailers, RVs, and even cars that are being lived in can gather in safe areas with centralized services. Then, keep those trailer parks open for as places for permanent low-cost homes.
- Eliminate all zoning and planning barriers to immediate implementation of the above demands.
Contact: Val Carlson, Cell: 206-819-8047
2122 W. Jefferson Blvd., L.A., 90018