Los Angeles’ newly elected mayor declared a citywide state of emergency on homelessness as her first act.
Mayor Karen Bass (D) tweeted Tuesday that she’s doing so “to unlock every tool and authority at our disposal to bring unhoused Angelenos inside. This is a matter of life and death and that’s exactly how my administration will treat it.”
At least 41,980 people experienced homelessness in the city of Los Angeles, during a three-day study this year, according to the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA). That’s a 1.7% rise in homelessness from 2020.
Another 69,144 experienced homelessness in Los Angeles County—a 4.1% rise in that region since 2020.
LAHSA blames the increase in part on the ending of Covid-era policies like eviction moratoriums, rental assistance and federal funding that helped people stay in their homes.
Mayor Bass promised to “house 15,000 by the end of year one” among other vows during her campaign. While a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, she helped secure millions in funding for long-term shelter for Angelenos and job training, and she backed funding for substance abuse programs.