Los Angeles has been relying on law enforcement as a "poor substitute for effective social policy" in dealing with its homeless problem, wrote Steve Clare, the executive director of the nonprofit Venice Community Housing Corporation, in a recent opinion piece on CityWatch.
The article was titled "Here’s Why We’re Not Finding Real Solutions to LA Homelessness" and argues that increasing affordable housing is the "fundamental solution" to a problem that has made Los Angeles the homeless capital of the country.
The cash-strapped city should consider short-term measures to help alleviate the number of homeless on the streets, Clare wrote. He suggested the city resume its subsidy program that funds the acquisition and refurbishment of small apartment buildings; make city-owned "surplus" property available to nonprofit groups to create more affordable housing and the city should start distinguishing between the 40,000 and 60,000 bootleg apartment units that do no comply with city building and zoning codes and those that simply lack proper permits, so that safe units can be used for affordable housing.
The city also should expand and extend its winter shelter program, Clare wrote.