As Homeless Count Concludes, L.A.'s Homeless Services & Housing Advocates Urge Angelenos to Vote No on Measure S

As the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count ends tonight with volunteers counting in Antelope Valley, Metro Los Angeles, Palisades/Malibu, and South Los Angeles, nearly all of L.A.’s affordable housing and homeless services advocates are united in urging Angelenos to vote No on Measure S, which would make the city’s homeless crisis even worse.

Measure S will ban the building of virtually all new housing, including 90% of planned opportunity sites for affordable and permanent supportive housing projects. Restricting the housing supply any further will disproportionately impact those struggling to stay afloat, either to make monthly rent or find an affordable place to live.

“The tragic gap in housing affordability in Los Angeles means record numbers of our neighbors are living on the streets or missing this month’s rent,” said Elise Buik, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Los Angeles. “Last November, L.A. voters overwhelmingly passed Prop HHH, $1.2 billion in bonds for supportive housing in Los Angeles - by far the most effective and efficient approach to ending homelessness. If passed, Measure S would bring that construction to a grinding halt. Measure S must be stopped.”

Gov. Brown’s recent budget report highlighted a root cause of L.A.’s housing affordability gap: housing production in L.A. greatly lags our economic recovery, with current housing construction rates meeting only 41% of the need.

Last year, L.A. permitted over 15,000 much-needed units of housing; however, Measure S would have banned more than 9,000 of new units proposed the same year.

Furthermore, the so-called ‘affordable housing exemption’ in Measure S would not apply to the vast majority of sites chosen by the city to develop housing for the homeless—the first developments that could be funded and built with HHH funds. Because of the “silent moratorium” in Measure S that lasts beyond the two-year housing ban, construction on those sites could be prohibited for as long as ten years and potentially longer.

Last year, homeless advocates penned an open letter to Measure S supporters, pleading with them to support their homeless neighbors by rejecting the measure.

The following affordable housing and homeless advocates have publicly endorsed the No on S campaign:

  • United Way of Greater Los Angeles

  • Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing

  • Bill Bedrossian, President & CEO, Covenant House California

  • Herb Smith, President & CEO, Los Angeles Mission

  • Downtown Women's Center

  • Inner City Law Center

  • Midtown Los Angeles Homeless Coalition

  • Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission

  • Shelter Partnership, Inc.

  • Imagine LA

  • The People Concern - OPCC and Lamp Community United

  • Homeless Health Care Los Angeles

  • Daniel Tenenbaum, Commissioner, Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles*

  • Robin Hughes, President & Chief Executive Officer, Abode Communities, affordable housing provider

  • Anne Miskey, Chief Executive Officer, Downtown Women's Center

  • Brent Gaisford, Partner, Upwell R/E and community advocate for affordable housing

  • Eva Williams, Director, CSH (Corporation for Supportive Housing) Los Angeles

  • Mark Vallianatos, Abundant Housing

  • Steve PonTell, President & CEO, National Community Renaissance (Nation CORE)

  • Dora Leong Gallo, CEO, A Community of Friends*

  • Andrew Cipes, President, Clifford Beers Housing

  • Mike Alvidrez, CEO, Skid Row Housing Trust*

  • Ruth Schwartz, Executive Director, Shelter Partnership, Inc.


(*Titles for identification purposes)