Friday, October 21, 2016

Venice Community Housing Chief Admits City has Satisfied the Jones Settlement

At a public hearing Tuesday, October 18th, on Proposition HHH, the City's new homeless housing property tax, Becky Dennison, the executive director of the Venice Community Housing Corporation, admitted that the City of Los Angeles has satisfied the conditions of the Jones Settlement.

Referring to the permanent, supportive housing that would be funded under HHH, Dennison told the Venice Neighborhood Council that "...the city has been building such housing up to now (2000 units citywide)...*

Since the City was only required to build 1,250 units of  permanent, supportive housing to meet the terms of the Settlement, Dennison's comments legitimize calls for return to 24 hour enforcement of LAMC 41.18, the City's "no sleeping on a sidewalk" ordinance.

Proponents of return to enforcement of 41.18, including the VSA, have also called for the LAPD, working with social service agencies, to make a firm offer of a shelter bed or shared housing to each transient who is subject to citation under 41.18.  This would both allow those who want to get off the street to do so and would insulate the City from a new lawsuit. (Local service providers in Venice have indicated they can always find a shelter bed, shared housing, or offer a bus fare to a safe, welcoming family member.)

*From Venice Update:

The argument in favor of Proposition HHH was made by Becky Dennison of Venice Community Housing Corporation, who was called in to do so at the last minute after Councilman Bonin (originally scheduled to speak) cancelled his appearance due to scheduling conflicts. Dennison pointed out that this Bond issue would raise $1.2 billion over 10 years to build up to 10,000 units of mostly permanent, supportive housing in Los Angeles. She pointed out that the city has been building such housing up to now (2000 units citywide), but very slowly and that there are only 42 such units in Venice at the present time. This new housing can be built citywide, and the specifics of where the money will be spent can be decided later, after the bond is approved.