IMPACT

LA To Turn Old Motels, Hospitals Into 500 Apartments For Homeless Vets

This comes after the city missed its deadline to end the issue.

02/06/2016 7:58 PM IST | Updated 03/06/2016 8:21 PM IST
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Tents are placed along Skid Row is seen in Los Angles on September 23, 2015. Los Angeles elected officials this week declared a homelessness 'state of emergency' and pledged $100 million in funding to tackle the crisis. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Homeless veterans in LA will soon be able to “check in” to their new homes without dealing with any red tape.

The City of Los Angeles unveiled a new plan to turn rundown motels and hospitals in need of minimal repair into 500 apartments for the area’s homeless veterans, according to a statement released by the city. 

Developers will purchase the rundown properties, turn them into efficiency apartments and the vets will use vouchers from the Department of Veteran Affairs to fund their rent, The Los Angeles Times reported.

The vouchers won’t expire for 15 years, and the deal is expected to enable landlords to make a profit.

Additionally, residents will also get supportive services, which includes case management and counseling.

There were 2,733 homeless veterans on a single night in the city last year, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. 

“Instead of allowing blighted properties to decay, let's use them to make powerful change in our communities by giving our veterans the access to services and housing that they need and deserve,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement.

Vivien Killilea via Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 03: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks at the Berggruen Institute: 5 Year Anniversary Celebration at The Beverly Wilshire on May 3, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Berggruen Institute)

The city will use financing from Proposition 41, which allocated $600 million in bond money for housing for poor and homeless veterans, according to The Times.

What advocates appreciate most about the plan is the lack of bureaucracy involved. The “unconventional approach” doesn’t require additional financing or zoning changes, Douglas Guthrie, president and CEO of the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, said in a statement.

The announcement comes after Los Angeles missed its deadline of ending vet homelessness by the end of last year. In 2014, Garcetti accepted first lady Michelle Obama’s challenge to mayors across the country to put an end to the issue. He announced in August that, due to a “significant change in the scope of the problem,” he would have to push off the deadline. 

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