LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The City Council voted Tuesday to add additional provisions to a resolution continuing a state of emergency concerning homelessness in Los Angeles.
The state of emergency, declared by Mayor Karen Bass in December and signed off by the city council, allows Bass to issue directives and take more aggressive actions toward the crisis.
The updates to the resolution include noting a specific end date to the emergency as June 12, unless otherwise directed the council. It also allows for competitive bidding restrictions to be suspended for contracts entered into by city departments related to the emergency while it is in place.
The mayor will have the ability to authorize the city administrative officer and departments to procure contracts related to construction contracts, service provider contracts and other supplies related to the emergency. The city administrative officer will provide a report to the council every two weeks justifying the need for any such contracts, specifically with a reason why it was necessary to not undergo a competitive bidding process.
The resolution also instructs the general manager of the emergency management department to advise the mayor and city council on the need to extend the state of emergency.
Bass has issued three emergency directives since declaring the state of emergency as her first official act, most notably beginning a program aimed at bringing residents of encampments indoors.
Whether to continue the state of emergency -- which must be ratified by the city council every month -- will be evaluated by several indicators of progress, including the number of encampments and housing placements, and how much more flexibility city departments are allowed through the declaration.
There are an estimated 41,980 unhoused people in the city of Los Angeles, up 1.7% from 2020, according to the latest count by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.