LAHSA Refocuses to Address Unsheltered Homelessness
After two years of evaluating the rehousing system and meetings with providers, elected officials, government partners, and people with lived experience, LAHSA is refocusing its efforts to reduce unsheltered homelessness over three years in the Los Angeles area.
LAHSA is working with communities across LA County to change how we move people from shelter to permanent housing faster and more efficiently. More shelter beds will become available for people experiencing unsheltered homelessness once more of our sheltered neighbors enter permanent housing. This plan will reduce unsheltered homelessness and drive more placements in permanent housing, ending more people’s homelessness.
Three key changes to our processes will accomplish this goal:
- New matching policy: LAHSA is working with the CES Policy Council to revisit how we connect people experiencing homelessness to permanent housing, also known as our “Permanent Supportive Housing Matching Policy.” These changes give service providers greater flexibility to utilize permanent housing resources as quickly as possible and address the racial and ethnic disparities in people experiencing homelessness.
- Prioritizing time-limited subsidies: Time-limited subsidies are temporary rental assistance and services to place people into permanent housing and help them sustain their new homes. The pandemic allowed us to implement a successful Recovery Rehousing program that has housed over 1500 households, including those who needed a more intensive supportive housing unit. We are taking the lessons from that program and applying them to our time-limited subsidy programs to house people in interim housing faster.
- Redesigning housing navigation: The LA area has made significant investments in expanding homeless interim housing. We need to ensure that people who go into interim housing have a pathway to a permanent home. LAHSA is redesigning our Housing Navigation programs to focus on people living in interim housing facilities and helping them find a permanent home.
We’re on an accelerated timeline to make these moves with our partners. Since October, our regional system implementation teams (RSI) have been working with community partners and people with lived experience of homelessness across the County on the needed changes. We will release this new framework and our new key performance indicators–how we’ll measure success–developed with California Policy Lab.
While LAHSA is actively making changes to help our unhoused neighbors find a permanent home faster, we cannot end homelessness alone. Thousands of people still need financial help to keep their homes, and thousands more are being let down by our correctional, foster care, and welfare systems and will enter homelessness. Our government partners must do more to support the social safety net and decrease the number of people that fall into homelessness.
In addition, Los Angeles County still lacks approximately 500,000 affordable housing units. The lack of affordable housing pushes more people into homelessness and denies LAHSA and its partners homes to place our unhoused neighbors. Only housing ends homelessness, and our community needs to create more housing to end this humanitarian crisis.