LA Motel Owners Fight Back Against Mayor Bass’ Homeless Housing Plans

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A new initiative by Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass to move the homeless into hotels and motels across the city while affordable housing units are built received stiff resistance from hotel and motel owners this week. They say they will oppose the program as much as they legally can.

The new initiative by Bass, known as Inside Safe, would not go after homeless encampments, but rather open up rooms for the homeless and make them available on a long-term basis. The move will cost the city around $100 million, with master leasing being used on motels around encampments. In a Meet the Press interview on Sunday, Bass says that she hopes to house around 95% of LA’s roughly 40,000 homeless this way once fully implemented.

“Well, you know, what we have found in the community organizations that we’re bringing in to do this work is that you can get 95% of the people housed,” explained Bass, who had promised to tackle the homeless issue in the first days of her Mayorship, on Sunday. “People will go. It takes a while. You have to do outreach.”

However, many motel and hotel owners in likely affected areas have sounded off against the idea. In interviews with the Globe on Tuesday, owners noted that similar previous attempts, like Project Roomkey during the pandemic, failed statewide, with more local attempts earlier this year to force owners to give vacant rooms to the homeless failed to get past the LA City Council.

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