Aggravated by limited upward mobility and a dire housing crisis, LA County’s homeless population has shot up 23 percent to nearly 58,000 in the past year alone, according The Los Angeles Times. Their increased visibility recently guilted voters into passing (by a two-thirds majority) a sales tax increase (Measure H) and a $1.2 billion bond initiative (Measure HHH) to provide housing and amenities. With the city now better financially equipped to tackle the problem, a new issue arises: what to build? While LA has previously used public funds in collaboration with organizations (such as the Skid Row Housing Trust) to construct thousands of permanent supportive housing units, the current crisis calls for a new approach. The situation needs to be addressed fast, and the bureaucracy and lengthy design review that comes with erecting permanent construction is too inefficient to make a difference in the short term. An experimental new approach aims to house a large number of neglected individuals in transitional “temporary emergency stabilization” living units that can be rapidly constructed free of red tape.
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