Poll: LA Voters Express Support Changes to Homelessness Policies


LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A survey of 500 Los Angeles city voters shows extraordinarily high levels of concern about homelessness, compassion for the unhoused, and support for changes to current city homelessness policies, researchers said this week.

Such policy changes include support for improving services provided to homeless encampments, support for prefab modular housing over more expensive permanent housing, and giving higher priority to temporary housing to those who are ill and on the streets over those who are healthy and residing in city parks, according to Goodwin Simon Strategic Research, which conducted the survey for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's Housing Is A Human Right advocacy division.

Voters also support requiring developers to greatly increase over current levels the proportion of affordable units in new housing developments. The survey also shows high favorable ratings for Mayor Eric Garcetti, even among those most concerned about homelessness.

Over 95% of L.A. city voters surveyed say that homelessness is a “very'' or “somewhat'' serious problem, with fully 79% saying it is “very'' serious. Black voters and renters are especially focused on homelessness, with more than 90% in each group rating the problem as “very serious.'' The poll also shows that fully 70% believe the problem of homelessness in the city has gotten worse in the past year.

Key findings of the poll include:

-- Vvry strong support for proposals to build more housing for the unhoused;

-- large majority support requiring developers to set aside 35% or 50% of new housing units for rental at affordable rates (77% and 71%, respectively);

-- belief among voters that the higher priority should be the unhoused who are mentally or physically ill and living on the street; and

-- strong support from most L.A. voters -- in particular Blacks and Latinx people -- for the unhoused, with 54% blaming rising rents and inadequate wages over poor personal choices (31%) as the primary cause of the problem.

Since late 2017, AHF, Housing Is A Human Right and AHF's Healthy Housing Foundation have advocated for the homeless and created housing for extremely low-income individuals and the formerly homeless. It deploys many of the alternative models of more affordable housing that U.S. District Judge David O. Carter suggests in his recent orders dealing with the crisis, including adaptive reuse of older SRO hotels and motels and construction of less costly prefabricated housing units.

AHF's Healthy Housing Foundation now has 10 residential buildings across Los Angeles providing 1,023 housing units.

Photo: Getty Images

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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