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Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas doubles down on homelessness


On the heels of a unanimous vote by the City Council to develop a Right to Housing framework, Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas announced the release of the first of a three-part series that will highlight what a framework for a Right to Housing in the City of Los Angeles could look like.

The series kicks off with an explainer video that describes the vision behind establishing a Right to Housing, which will be followed by a video scheduled to be released next week that will expound on the four main pillars of a Right to Housing: prevention, interim housing, permanent housing and street engagement. The third video, scheduled to be released in two weeks, will examine the Venice/I-10 Freeway Encampment to Home Project which elucidates how this vision can be put into practice.

“When we talk about a ‘Right to Housing,’ we talk about creating a safety net that obligates the government to not only aid Angelenos in transitioning off the streets and into interim and permanent housing, but also to prevent homelessness in the first place,” said Ridley-Thomas. “Just as we have the right to vote and a right to clean air – every man, woman, and child needs a place to call home.”

The obligation on government to ensure a Right to Housing is broadly supported by Californians. A new statewide poll released by Bring California Home noted  that over 60 percent of voters agreed that all Californians should have a legally enforceable right to housing.  When it came to funding priorities for voters, homelessness remains a high priority, ranking third, only behind COVID-19 and the economy.

The polling also noted that the vast majority of California voters support large corporations paying more in taxes to fight homelessness.

AB 71, which would provide $2.4B annually statewide to enact the Bring California Home proposal, including funding services and housing, is expected to have its first hearing before the State Legislature next week.

“With so many Californians experiencing homelessness—and so many more on the brink as a result of COVID-19—we can only expect this crisis to worsen. This is why we need AB71—to ensure an ongoing infusion of critical State resources to fund the Bring California Home plan,” Ridley-Thomas said. “The latest polling proves that we are on the right track to end homelessness. The onus must be on government to prevent our most vulnerable residents from falling into homelessness. We must do this with urgency and conviction.”