Sacramento – Senator Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley, announces the Joint Legislative Audit Committee today agreed to his request for an audit of Los Angeles County Homeless Service spending.
Earlier this month Wilk submitted a letter to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee urging a thorough investigation of spending on homeless services in Los Angeles County.
“I am excited the Committee voted to approve the audit and send it to the State Auditor,” Wilk said. “A person’s zip code should not determine the level of services they receive. Whether you live in downtown L.A., San Gabriel Valley or the High Desert, ALL should have access to services and an opportunity to succeed.”
Wilk’s request for an audit laid out a specific set of determinations to be made through the audit; primary among them, the ability, or lack thereof, of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to adequately administer homeless funding throughout the region in a fair, transparent and equitable way.
“The Antelope Valley is home to 3,000 homeless individuals and six percent of the county’s total homeless population. It receives $397 per person from the county for homeless services, while downtown LA receives $4700 per person for those same services. In my opinion, someone has some explaining to do.”
Testifying in support of the request was Assemblyman Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale.
“The Antelope Valley is one of the hardest hit communities by this issue,” Lackey said, “an audit will shed light on the root causes of this funding inequity so the public will have a better idea about how their tax dollars have been spent.”
JLAC Committee member Senator Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia, expressed similar frustration with funding to his area of the county.
“After hearing the testimony today, I support the call for an audit,” Mendoza said. “I want to know what current practices are and if better options exist. It comes down to allocation and ensuring fair distribution across Los Angeles County. It is unfair, not only to the vulnerable members of our community but to everyone, if there is systematic preference for one area.”
The Joint Legislative Audit Committee is responsible for commissioning audits through the California State Auditor who serves as a watchdog, investigating agencies in California to ensure proper conduct and function.