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How will Karen Bass use her emergency declaration powers?

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Mayor Karen Bass’ first day in office didn’t begin at City Hall, but down the street at the Emergency Operations Center where, flanked by elected officials, she declared a state of emergency to homelessness crisis.

The move, which will require city council approval, gives it the ability to expedite the process of creating new transitional housing and developing a plan to get the most vulnerable Angelenos off the streets. as the wintry weather sets in. Bass met with city department chief executives and challenged them to come up with solutions to make government more efficient and responsive to homelessness.

“We need to get people back inside faster, and we will,” she said.

“We need to build housing faster, and we will. We need to coordinate shelter and services and we will. We need to have coordination between city officials and city departments and we will because we do things differently and you can see who is together in this room today.

The question is how Bass plans to use the powers granted to him in an emergency. It has the ability to disburse money faster to providers doing homeless outreach, approve primary building tenancies, and reduce regulatory and permitting processes. Although she could also commandeer property to provide housing, she told the Times editorial board that she would not because, she said, “you’re going to end up in court for still. I’m looking for the fastest way to do this.

It’s unclear how much this emergency declaration would cost, if passed, or how many interim housing units Bass plans to create immediately. The newly installed mayor said there would be more details in the coming days on the effort, called “Inside Safe”.

Bass estimated that this first push to get people inside the encampments would cost “less than $100 million,” but did not elaborate.

The Times reported over the weekend that Bass would aggressively target large settlements populated by people in desperate need of help and who have been a constant source of frustration for nearby residents. His advisers have asked city agencies, nonprofits and council offices where these large encampments filled with RVs and makeshift structures have grown.

They looked at where these people could go at least temporarily – considering more hotel conversions, the main rental of buildings and the expansion of the LA Grand Hotel’s homeless housing operation by almost 500 rooms. downtown.

“I will lead a citywide strategy that brings together resources, creates accountability and drives results and is at the heart of a regional strategy,” she said Monday.

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