LA City Council Unanimously Supports AB 71 

Los Angeles City – In a step toward building out a Right to Housing framework for the City of Los Angeles, the City Council unanimously approved a motion, co-authored by Councilmembers Ridley-Thomas and O’Farrell, to support AB 71 (Rivas) which would fortify resources in the city’s fight against the rising crisis of homelessness. AB 71 would establish at least 2.4 billion in annual funding to reverse the cycle of homelessness in California, in part by closing corporate tax loopholes.

“If we are to get to a place where we no longer talk about homelessness as a challenge that can be addressed with a few projects and policies at a time but a through a comprehensive framework, we need the type of annual commitment that AB71 can bring to the table,” said Councilmember Ridley-Thomas. “This bill helps us pave the way for all residents of Los Angeles to have a place to live, because the status quo is simply unacceptable.”

In January 2019, it was reported that more than 151,278 people experienced homelessness in California, representing a 17-percent increase since 2018. Experts predict a significant increase in homelessness this year due to the COVID-19 economic downturn.  If approved AB 71’s new funding could—statewide—prevent 28,000 people from falling into homelessness, find interim housing for 25,000 people, create affordable housing units for 43,000 people, and provide navigation, case management, and employment support to 50,000 people.

“Thank you Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas and LA City Councilmembers for supporting AB 71, which ensures local governments across California have the structure and confidence they need to implement response plans and programs that combat homelessness,” said Assemblywoman Luz Rivas (D-Arleta). “According to the 2019 Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count, 58,936 individuals are homeless at any given night. We know it is only going to get worse because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now is the time to create, for the first time ever, dedicated ongoing funding for homelessness that allows for better coordination and accountability, and state and local partnerships.”

“Since 2019, I have led an aggressive in-person lobbying effort with lawmakers across the state to ensure the City of Los Angeles receives its fair share of funding and resources to address the homelessness crisis. We must demand a state allocation commensurate with the need here,” said Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, who represents the 13th District. “AB 71 is another opportunity for our city to finally receive the resources to meet that objective, not only to house Angelenos currently living on the streets but also to prevent possibly thousands more from having to experience the traumas associated with homelessness. I thank Assemblymembers Luz Rivas and Miguel Santiago for their tireless work to uplift our communities in Los Angeles and across California.”

“I want to commend Councilmember Ridley-Thomas, who has been steadily working in the background on the issue of homelessness,” said Jamie Penn, Assistant Secretary of the Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council. “One of the vital steps for solving the problems we have regarding our housing crisis is the lack of resources and this motion addresses just that. AB-71 will bring much needed resources down from the state level so that they may be used here at the local level.”