Letters to the Editor: Is Rick Caruso’s ‘short-term’ homelessness plan what L.A. needs?
If anyone ever had a chance to get this city and its leaders to understand that “a lot” of homeless people exist and deserve help but they are just that — for a short period of time — and they have to be prepared for a long period of time of living without a roof over their heads, it was Rick Caruso.
The former director of Los Angeles Homeless Services (LASH) has put his plan to deal with a shortage of housing in the city on the books while claiming there is a shortage of housing for the poor in this city. I am not referring to one particular housing shortage but rather a shortage of housing for the poor.
The short-term solution being offered is more homeless shelter with an eye to the long-term solution of creating more affordable housing units.
The former director of LASH is not exactly a long-term solution as he has only been at the helm of LASH for a little less than a year but he has put his plan to get to a better solution on the books while he is in charge. In my opinion, he is just a short-term solution.
Here’s what I see happening:
First of all, there is an immediate shortage of housing and housing for the poor for a number of reasons. The one that comes up immediately is that people are losing their homes and apartments to foreclosure.
When the real estate bubble burst, banks were given the right to foreclose on homeowners who were not paying their mortgages. But the banks were not required to sell the homes to the banks. The banks did what they wanted to do in the homes (and usually did not tell the owners) and the housing markets were driven up to the roof of the biggest cities.
When all was said and done, the housing markets in this country, and in L.A., were driven to the roof of the biggest cities and there was an oversupply of housing units.
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