Mayor Garcetti, elected officials weigh in on homelessness

The Los Angeles City Council voted today to place a bond measure on the city’s November ballot aimed at raising money to address the city’s homeless problem.

At last count, there were more than 27,000 people without permanent shelter in the city.

The council agreed to ask voters to authorize more than $1 billion in bonds to be issued over a decade.

But it also delayed a vote until Friday on a parcel tax proposal that could raise tens of millions dollars a year for homeless housing and services.

The measures come as the city upped its spending on homeless services this fiscal year, at the request of Mayor Eric Garcetti.

“All of us can’t look at our streets without our hearts breaking,” Garcetti told KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis. “And that’s why I think so many Angelenos have said, ‘enough'”.

“We can’t just house the homeless,” Garcetti added. “We have to prevent people from becoming homeless.”

Listen to more of the Mayor’s interview here:

LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin is pushing for several new ordinances to help address the growing homeless problem, including a citywide “safe parking program,” for people that live in their cars and vans.

But he says more help is needed from the state and from Congress.

“The federal government, Congress, has been an abject failure,” he told Steve Chiotakis. “We can’t get enough housing vouchers from the feds. I think Governor Brown has been a failure, refusing to allow [LA] County to ask for a millionaire’s tax.”

Listen to the complete interview here:

To check out KCRW’s complete coverage of homelessness in LA, click here.