Councilmember Seeks to Expand Master Leasing, Encampment to Home Efforts

LOS ANGELES (October 2, 2019) – Continuing to push the City for faster and nimbler solutions to the homelessness crisis, Councilmember Mike Bonin today proposed expanding two programs that have been successful at quickly housing people living on the streets.

In legislation submitted today, Bonin urged the City to expand “master leasing” programs that use existing rental units to house people experiencing homelessness and to ramp up the “Encampment to Homes” project, which created a clear and focused pathway from street encampments to stable housing. The push builds on Bonin’s continued call for expanded use of shared housing, which houses multiple people as roommates in a single home.

“The pathways into homelessness are big, varied, and fast-moving. But the pathways out of homelessness are few, narrow, and move far too slowly,” said Bonin. “We need to break the mold and embrace quicker, less expensive solutions or homelessness will continue to increase, encampments will continue to proliferate in our neighborhoods, and people will continue to die.”

One of Bonin’s motions urged the city to invest, as the County of Los Angeles has done, in master leasing, or a “flexible housing subsidy pool,” in which a government agency or social service agency rents available, existing housing units and makes them available to agencies providing housing to people experiencing homelessness. The county program has housed more than 7,000 people since 2014. Bonin also called for the city to explore whether it can require or incentivize that housing units covenanted for low-income residents be used as resources for a master leasing program, creating an available supply of housing units for agencies seeking placements for people experiencing homelessness.

In an additional motion, Bonin asked for an expansion of the “Encampments to Homes” project. The project, piloted in South LA last year, brought together various agencies to focus intensively on selected encampments and match them with housing resources. The project, profiled last month by the Los Angeles Times, housed 106 people, nearly 93% of those who moved into a permanent unit remain successfully housed.

Previously, Bonin has led the push for shared housing, and has led efforts to invest in programs like the Share! The Self Help and Recovery Exchange, where homeless people live together as a group, often in a single-family home, sharing a bedroom with a roommate.

Read Bonin’s motions below.

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Encampment to Home Motion:

Encampment to Home Motion


Master Leasing Motion:

Master Leasing Motion
(above photo originally published in the Los Angeles Times on September 1, 2019)