A homeless encampment on 39th Street under the 110 Freeway in Los Angeles. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles County officials are seeking public comment on the preliminary spending proposal for the estimated $355 million to come annually from the Measure H sales tax increase approved by voters in March to reduce homelessness.
A summary of the plan was posted on the county’s Homeless Initiative webpage late Wednesday along with a comment form.
Phil Ansell, director of the Homeless Initiative, said comments will be accepted through 5 p.m. Monday.
The proposal is being reviewed by a panel of 50 representatives of homeless services groups, local governments and county agencies responsible for spending Measure H funds. The panel’s recommendations are scheduled to be considered by the Board of Supervisors June 13.
The spending plan, covering the first three years of the 10-year duration of the quarter-cent sales tax, lists dollar amounts requested for 21 strategies approved by the board to receive Measure H funds. It is a revision of requests from county agencies that initially totaled more than $613 million by the third year, nearly twice the available funds.
At their April 13 meeting, members of the oversight panel directed the lead agencies to bring their requests into line with the anticipated revenue.
The current requests total about $250 million in the first year, $335 million in the second and $371 million in the third. The largest single item is $216 million for rapid rehousing subsidies followed by $168 million over three years to expand and improve the shelter system.
The plan also calls for $124 million over three years to provide case management, services and rental subsidies for permanent supportive housing, $93 million to strengthen the coordinated entry system that is used to determine priority for housing, $73 million to expand outreach teams across the county and about $43 million each to advocacy for employment of the homeless and services for youth transitioning out of the foster care system.
About $113 million in anticipated revenue in excess of the budget in the first two years would be used for shelters, temporary housing for people leaving institutions and a $10-million fund to sponsor innovative housing models.
The panel is scheduled to meet two more times, on May 4 and May 10, to review the revised proposal and make its recommendations.