LA Council Votes to Explore Citywide Master Leasing Program

Housing sale and rental concept

Photo: Getty Images

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The City Council voted Friday to explore funding sources for a citywide master leasing program in Los Angeles for affordable housing.

While the city waits for potential funding from Measure ULA tax revenue, there is an "immediate and pressing need to dramatically expand available housing options" given that there are nearly 28,500 people experiencing unsheltered homelessness in Los Angeles, according to a motion by Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky. That is the single largest unsheltered population of any municipality in the country.

"We all know we don't have enough affordable housing in the city," Yaroslavsky said during Friday's meeting. "We need to be building more, particularly on the west side of Los Angeles but also throughout the city."

Yaroslavsky said the city should be looking at existing market-rate housing for "how we might explore creating a coherent, integrated policy around master leasing."

"Right now it feels very ad hoc," Yaroslavsky said.

Yaroslavsky added that Mayor Karen Bass has also been a proponent of master leasing as part of her plan to address the city's homelessness crisis.

Yaroslavsky's motion said the issue is made worse by the fact that only a fifth of Angelenos who have housing vouchers are able to find a unit, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. She sought for the city to explore how it could better utilize its housing stock through the motion.

The council sought a report from the Chief Legislative Analyst and several agencies on a proposed structure and potential funding sources for a citywide master lease program -- and whether that program could use shared housing strategies. The funding sources could include state and federal dollars.

The council separately asked for a report on a potential master leasing program in the Fifth District, represented by Yaroslavsky.

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