The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted in support of a motion, authored by Chair Holly J. Mitchell and co-authored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, declaring Los Angeles County as a Housing First County, which prioritizes permanent housing for people experiencing homelessness across the County.
“Having a quality place to call home that is affordable to your income is a fundamental human need and the foundation for creating opportunities in your life” said Chair Holly J. Mitchell, Supervisor for the Second District. “Today’s motion centers housing security are our strongest tool in combating homelessness. The Housing First model is the only proven model that has effectively solved homelessness. It is necessary for ensuring our unhoused residents can access the wide range of services and treatment they may need to help them stay housed.”
“It is important for the County to continue creating low-barrier housing, both interim and permanent, to ensure that people get off the streets quickly,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, First District. “Housing First means that people have the option to be housed while they work on their behavioral health concerns, and to that end, is critical that we continue investing in a housing system that is open to everyone.”
In 2016, the California state legislators voted to approve Senate Bill 1380, making California a Housing First state. The bill, authored by then California State Senator Holly J. Mitchell, aligned with evidence-based practices on housing and homelessness recognizing that an unhoused person must first have access to a safe place to live before improving other outcomes. Over the last three decades, studies in the United States have shown that 88% of participants remain housed over longer periods compared to those who followed the traditional homelessness system.
According to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, there are currently three states and 83 communities that have permanently solved veteran and chronic homelessness by using the Housing First model. No other model or program has worked as a permanent solution.
In Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services and Office of Diversion and Re-Entry operate with a Housing First approach and are successful at housing and retention due to the wrap-around services provided to participants once they are placed into housing.
Additionally, today’s motion directs the County’s legislative advocates in Sacramento to oppose any bills that may cease the Housing First Model in response to the recent introduction of Senate Bill 1284, which sought to oppose the Housing First Model.
To read the full motion click here.