The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion by Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Hilda Solis to analyze the current structure and function of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, or LAHSA.
“In many ways the origin of LAHSA, which was born out of a lawsuit between the city and the county, is still reflected in the structure and operation of the organization today,” Barger said in a statement after the Supervisors’ vote on Tuesday.
“Nearly three decades after its inception, it is time to reconsider LAHSA’s function and identify ways we can address homelessness more holistically throughout Los Angeles County, including garnering input from all of our 88 cities. We need to ensure individuals are connected to housing and can access programs and services expeditiously,” Barger said.
“We cannot be afraid to make changes, small or big, because the stakes are enormous – there are 59,000 people experiencing homelessness on any given night. It is time to analyze and review the operational and governance structure of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority,” Solis said. “We need to be able to cut through the red tape to deal with this emergency, as we would in any other crisis. Now is the time to take a step back and take a bird’s eye view of how every agency and partner is working together to house people, and we need to remove the elements that are slowing us down. The time to act is now.”
As a result of the Board’s action, the county’s Chief Executive Officer, Auditor-Controller and County Counsel will report back with findings and recommendations, including proposed modifications to improve LAHSA’s governance structure, performance, accountability and transparency.
The motion also asks for necessary corrective actions to enable the homeless services authority to quickly and efficiently connect homeless individuals with available housing units.
LAHSA continues to be at the forefront of efforts to combat homelessness given its role as a central entity to coordinate services and rehousing.
However, there is a widespread lack of clarity around LAHSA’s mission and role in the homeless services system. This motion seeks to provide L.A. County with a clearer vision of what LAHSA can and should accomplish.