Los Angeles mayor declares state of emergency over homelessness

A homeless man in Los Angeles on December 6, 2022 – FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP

The mayor of Los Angeles declared a state of emergency on Monday after skyrocketing homelessness and said she wants “radical change” to solve this intractable problem for America’s second-largest city.

Tens of thousands of people sleep on the streets of Los Angeles, their tents scattered around the city, stunning tourists who come to visit one of the richest urban areas on the planet.

A population that is also more affected by mental health or addiction problems.

Karen Bass, the city’s first woman elected mayor in November, took office on Sunday and declared a state of emergency the next day.

“I will not tolerate a homelessness crisis that affects over 40,000 people and affects all of us,” she said.

“My mission is to lead Los Angeles in a new direction with a swift and strategic approach to solving one of the toughest challenges facing our city.”

“Applying to the state of emergency allows us to speed things up,” assured Karen Bass, announcing a “radical change” in the operating mode.

A number of decrees are coming

The city councilor has indicated in the coming days that she will sign a series of decrees tackling this problem, for example by providing temporary housing through the rental of apartments and hotel rooms.

Karen Bass, who was previously elected to the House of Representatives, was very involved in the community life of Los Angeles, her hometown.

She was elected mayor against wealthy real estate developer Rick Caruso after a campaign dominated by the issue of homelessness, which has become ubiquitous in local public debate.

Some of the most expensive rents in the country, the high cost of living and taxes well above the national average further complicate the situation.

Los Angeles is preparing to host the 2028 Olympic Games, and many observers believe the city will be all the more motivated to remove the many tents, sometimes installed just meters from luxury stores or impressive villas.

Original article published on BFMTV.com

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