Homelessness increased 12% in LA County in the past three years, from 39,461 to 44,359 individuals. While the numbers reveal a concerning state of affairs for our City, they serve as a call to action to prioritize affordable and permanent supportive housing as the solution to end homelessness.
Affordable Housing: Housing where rent is no more than 30% of a person’s income.
Based on extremely low-income (ELI) and very low-income (VLI) renter household data from California Housing Partnership Corporation.
While median rents in our state have increased over 20% from 2000 to 2012, the median income dropped by 8% and California still has a shortfall of over 1.5 million affordable rental homes.
GOOD TO KNOW
Public housing: Federally-subsidized rental housing for low-income families, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.
Section 8 or Housing Choice Vouchers: Federal program for very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market.
Permanent Supportive Housing: A decent, safe, affordable, community-based housing model that provides tenants with the rights of tenancy and links to voluntary and flexible supportive services for people with disabilities experiencing homelessness.
Single Residency Occupancy (SRO): Housing for one or two persons in individual rooms within a multiple-tenant building with shared bathrooms and kitchens.
Housing First: An approach to ending homelessness that centers on providing individuals experiencing homelessness with housing as quickly as possible and then providing supportive services as needed.
HOUSING AS A WOMAN'S RIGHT
For women, lack of housing can lead to increased vulnerability, victimization, and lower health outcomes. To prevent and end homelessness, we need to expand low-income and affordable housing options for our women, in particular permanent supportive housing, to ensure that all homeless individuals are stably housed.
In addition to our 119 units of permanent housing, DWC has two programs that provide housing placement and case management support to women throughout LA County - one that focuses on female veterans and their children, and another that works with individuals with critical health issues.
At the federal level, DWC supports full funding for the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants and Section 8 Tenant-Based Rental Assistance program.
At the state level, DWC supports state legislation that preserves and rehabilitates existing affordable housing stock and the establishment of a permanent funding source for affordable housing.
At the local level, DWC supports County and City efforts to end homelessness through increasing affordable housing for all homeless individuals including veterans and people on probation or parole, streamlining systems, and grassroots advocacy efforts led by the Downtown Women’s Action Coalition (DWAC).