L.A. County OKs $9 Million in Measure H Funding for Cities

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors today approved $9 million in Measure H funding to be distributed to 41 cities countywide, aiming to promote community-centric solutions to homelessness. 

Supervisor Hilda Solis said cooperation across municipalities is key to solving the problem of homelessness.``Ensuring every woman, man, and child has a safe roof over their heads is a top priority. However, ending homelessness requires a collaborative effort, and we need regional thought leaders to come up with viable solutions,'' Solis said. ``We must leverage all of our resources if we expect to effectively solve our regional homelessness crisis.''Two-thirds of the $9 million -- to be paid out over 18 months beginning in January -- will fund projects to increase the supply of interim and permanent housing. The remaining $3 million will be spent on efforts to enhance homelessness services. 

The total for any one city is capped at $600,000 unless some dollars go unused at those levels. The board also asked the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to set aside an additional $3 million of state homeless emergency aid funds to support the city plans. 

Claremont City Councilman Joe Lyons and other city officials thanked the board.``My hope is that by approving today's funding for city homelessness plan implementation, we are commencing the formation of the partnership so essential to the success of Measure H,'' Lyons said. Solis called for innovative ideas.``We know that magic solutions do not exist, but we can make a difference if we all roll up our sleeves, and come together to work creatively and collaboratively with the intent of helping our most vulnerable residents,'' she said. 

In a letter to the board, county CEO Sachi Hamai identified a shortfall of $89 million -- or 25 percent -- in overall Measure H funding for the upcoming fiscal year 2019-20 as a result of a three-month delay by the state in collecting the new tax dollars. That delay didn't affect spending in 2017-18 and 2018-19 because board allocations anticipated a ramp-up of services, according to Hamai. But the board has preliminarily approved $432 million of Measure H spending in the year beginning July 1, 2019, and will be facing a gap based on current tax collections. 

Hamai said her office would be considering options to bridge that gap as part of the county budget process.

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