Up to $114 million over multiple years
L.A. Care Health Plan and Health Net are investing $114 million over multiple years to help address the homelessness crisis in Los Angeles County. Earlier this year, the county Board of Supervisors officially declared a state of emergency to expedite resources to support the unhoused.
In collaboration with the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative (CEO-HI), the investment will fund two initial strategies:
• Secure leases on as many as 1,900 housing units and pay for vacancy coverage, damage repair, trash services, greenspace, maintenance, and/or pest control.
• Identify the needs of unhoused people through field assessments to determine who requires assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADL) to move into permanent housing, which is especially important due to the growing number of seniors and people with disabilities experiencing homelessness.
Every year, a combination of local, state and federal funding supports various permanent and time-limited housing vouchers that are used to house people experiencing homelessness in the County. However, a recent study found only 65% of people issued a voucher are able to lease a unit, and it takes an average of 122 days for those lucky enough to find a rental location.
Supervisor Hilda L. Solis said, “When people experiencing homelessness try to use their rental vouchers in the private housing market, they often contend with unaffordable rent, tough competition, and historic and systemic housing discrimination. We’ve entered into this collaboration with L.A Care and Health Net during a moment of urgency, but it will expand our housing portfolio over the long term and maximize the use of federal and local rental vouchers to bring people indoors.”
L.A. Care Health Plan and Health Net’s investment will be used to help the County secure housing units in the private rental market to serve people experiencing homelessness who have rental vouchers. This could include leasing entire apartment complexes, expanding opportunities for shared housing, providing additional support to landlords, and more. Leases could run from three to 10 years.
“Housing is critical for good health. This collaboration will help address housing inequities, which have resulted in health inequities, and it will make the voucher system more effective,” said John Baackes, L.A. Care CEO. “Securing rental units in advance will ensure vouchers are able to be used and will cut down on the long wait times. At the same time, it will give landlords a long-term funding commitment.”
The investment over five years will enable the County to create assessment teams that will visit shelters and other interim housing sites to identify people needing ADL help, as well as connecting them with caregiver help in interim or permanent housing. This expands on current county programming.
Supervisor Holly Mitchell said, “Many people experiencing homelessness with a range of health and behavioral conditions or age-related impairments can find it difficult to access various systems of care, including housing. Thanks to this partnership with L.A. Care Health Plan and Health Net, we can reduce barriers and more quickly support a particularly vulnerable segment of the homeless population get the help they need to be housed, and to thrive.”