New Report on Homeless Shows Fewer People, but More Sidewalk Tents

A new report on homelessness generated by the Los Angeles Housing Authority appeared to have some good news for residents - people experiencing homelessness was down 3% in the County of Los Angeles over this time last year.

However, not everyone is buying that. Critics say there's one statistic on page 13 of the report that seems to suggest the exact opposite trend is occurring. 

According to the 2018 homeless count report, there was a 5% increase in the number of tents, vehicles and makeshift shelters on the streets, even as fewer people reported being homeless in the City and County of Los Angeles. According to an analysis from the L.A. Times of the report, there were 18% more cars and 11% more vans being used as homes by people. The report also said there was a 4% increase in the number of tents. 

Critics are questioning the accuracy of the count, with the Economic Roundtable (a nonprofit research group), saying that the methodology used by the organization doing the counting was not accurate enough to identify year-over-year changes. 

If this year’s formula “had been used last year, it would have reduced the size of the count,” said Dan Flaming, president of the Economic Roundtable. “This could well produce annual counts showing a steady upward trend rather than a trend going up last year and down this year.”

The report comes even as evidence continues to pile up across Southern California that homelessness is out of control and politicians seem to have little interest in doing anything about it. 

Photo: Getty Images

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