Bass Supports Padilla’s Bill for Billions in New Homelessness Funding

Mayor of Los Angeles, Karen Bass, along with U.S. Senator Alex Padilla of California and other local leaders, expressed their support on Wednesday for the reintroduction of a bill. This proposal aims to allocate an extensive amount of federal funding towards housing initiatives and programs aiding homelessness.

The Housing for All Act, a previous submission by Padilla in 2022 and 2023, is designed to direct financial resources towards various supportive housing initiatives. These include services for the elderly and disabled, the National Housing Trust Fund, the Housing Choice Vouchers programs, and other similar endeavors. The bill also proposes reinforcing local solutions to homelessness, which includes transformation of motel and hotel rooms into permanent supportive housing and establishing mobile crisis response teams for those without housing.

House legislation complementary to this act was presented by Representatives Ted Lieu of Torrance and Salud Carbajal of Santa Barbara. However, on previous occasions, the tax did not make it to the president’s desk for approval.

“Housing should be a universal right, not a privilege,” announced Padilla on Wednesday. He explained his decision to resubmit the Housing for All Act as a response to the acute nature of homelessness and affordable housing crises. He vowed to press on until every individual has a secure place to live.

Padilla’s bill proposes the authorization of $14.5 billion funding for the Project-Based Rental Assistance program. This initiative enables tenants to calculate their rent payments according to their income. Additionally, $40 million would be assigned to provide technical support for recipients or applicants of this program.

The bill also plans to assign $15 billion over a decade to Continuum of Care grants. These grants supply funds for nonprofit organizations and government entities at the state and local level to combat homelessness.

Bass applauded the bill’s endorsement of national strategies that she opines are currently having a positive impact on the battle against homelessness. She emphasized that established federal programs with a successful history would greatly benefit from the funding. She iterated her belief that the response to this crisis requires a multi-tiered approach, not relying solely on a single level of government.

This bill covers a range of programs striving to combat the shortage of affordable housing, to deter evictions and to offer support for those dwelling on the streets. Despite the bill’s previous unsuccessful attempts at being passed into law, Bass pledges to uphold her dedication to its endorsement.

She stated, “Our advocacy will persist until President Biden has the opportunity to sign this bill into law.”