HUD Secretary to Join Karen Bass in LA to See Homelessness Crisis, Housing

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge will be in Los Angeles Thursday at the request of Rep. Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, to get a first-hand look at the city’s homelessness crisis and how federal dollars are being used to address it.

“Tackling the homelessness crisis through a Housing First approach is a top priority. At HUD, we are focused on ensuring that people have safe, stable, accessible housing and supportive services. Together we have an opportunity to solve this crisis and help people suffering live with healthy, hope, and dignity,” Fudge said in a statement ahead of the meeting.

Bass, who is running for mayor in Tuesday’s primary, is hosting the event in her capacity as congresswoman to show Fudge the urgent need for additional housing assistance, according to Bass’ office. The tour, which will include visits to housing facilities that receive federal funding, will focus on the need for Section 8 housing vouchers and more low-income and moderate housing units. Fudge and Bass will also meet with housing and service providers.

“I want to thank Secretary Fudge for agreeing to come to Los Angeles tomorrow to see first-hand the extent of the homelessness crisis here and the urgent need for additional housing assistance. I look forward to tomorrow,” Bass said.

The homelessness crisis in Los Angeles and across California has taken center stage in the mayoral campaign.

Bass’ campaign calls for temporary housing and permanent supportive housing to get the city’s unhoused population off the street, setting an ambitious goal of housing 15,000 people by the end of her first year as mayor. Her temporary housing plan includes identifying available city-owned land; converting existing motels, hotels, closed hospitals and vacant commercial buildings; and partnering with religious and community institutions, as well as private companies. To build longterm and affordable housing, she calls for policies that will expedite affordable housing developments and state funding to increase units through the Project Homekey program. She also calls for more affordable housing, saying 352,000 people in Los Angeles are at risk of becoming homeless.

More than 66,433 people were experiencing homelessness across Los Angeles County during the most recent count in January 2020, with 41,290 identified in the city. The 2021 count was canceled due to COVID-19, and the 2022 count took place in February, with results expected over summer.

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