News flash! Every week, following the Board meeting, Supervisor Kuehl picks five items you might find interesting, important, and/or fun. It’s your way to get a quick rundown of several highlights of the meeting in no more than 5 minutes! Looking for more? Click here to get the entire agenda.

Affordable Housing in the Third District

According to the most recent Census data, more than 800,000 of LA County renters would qualify for affordable housing, were it available. Unfortunately, however, fewer than 300,000 units are available across the county.

To help close this gap, this week the Board approved $41.2 million in funding for ten affordable housing projects. These projects are a mix of preserving existing affordable housing and creating new units, and will contribute 802 units to our affordable housing stock.

Three of these projects are in the Third District, including Palm Vista, featuring 91 affordable units in Winnetka.

Countywide Plan for Audit and Contract Monitoring

I am pleased that the Board passed my motion to correct inconsistencies among departmental audits and standardize audit reports countywide.

The Auditor-Controller conducts about 110 audits annually using a systemic process, and these audits are reviewed by the Audit Committee. In 2019, the Auditor-Controller surveyed all County departmental audit contract monitoring, and investigative functions, and identified a number of inconsistencies. This motion requires a report back on Audit and Contract Monitoring Plans, which each department will develop in consultation with the Auditor-Controller.

100 Day Challenge

LA County is doing all we can to combat the homelessness crisis, but we can’t do it alone. That is why I am grateful to have state support from Governor Gavin Newsom, and that the Board passed a motion I co-authored with Supervisor Kathryn Barger supporting the Governor’s 100-Day Challenge.

100-day challenges are part of a growing national movement to prevent and end homelessness, developed through the Rapid Results Institute in coordination with the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. Last year, Governor Newsom allocated $650 million in one-time funding to counties, cities, and continuums of care called the Homeless Housing, Assistance, and Prevention Program (HHAP). LA County received $65 million, and a portion of that must go to immediate actions to address homelessness.

As part of the Challenge, we have elected to put $2.4 million of our HHAP funds towards two employment-focused pilots in South LA and Pasadena, which will help participants develop skills, as well as find and retain jobs.

Coronavirus Response

News of the coronavirus spreading in the US is alarming, and the best thing we can do at the county level is prepare, prepare, prepare!

The Board passed several motions related to acquiring appropriate funding and having concrete plans in place to adequately prepare to respond to the coronavirus. The first motion, authored by Supervisor Kathryn Barger, approves a request for $7.5 million in federal funding for the Department of Public Health, which will need increased staffing and testing funds in the event of an outbreak. The second motion authored by Supervisor Hilda Solis requests a comprehensive assessment of the County’s preparedness and resources, including an inventory of medical equipment, and protocols for schools, hospitals, and residents in the event of an emergency declaration, and more.

Finally, the Board approved a motion by Supervisor Barger that calls for each department to develop a plan that allows for employees to telework in the event they need to stay home when they are sick or need to care for a sick child. It is imperative to make these options available to workers to prevent the spread of illness, including common diseases like the flu.

Los Angeles County Drainage Area

This week, the Board passed a motion authored by Supervisors Solis and Barger that seeks a legislative solution to bring critical water infrastructure under local control.

The US Army Corps of Engineers and the Los Angeles County Flood Control District (District) work collaboratively to operate the Los Angeles County Drainage Area system, an extensive network of water management infrastructure that provides flood risk management to approximately 10 million people and 2.1 million parcels valued at over $1 trillion. Federal funding limitations have hindered the Army Corps from adequately maintaining portions of the system, which includes dams, debris retention basins, and open channels.

This motion directs our advocates in DC to promote the inclusion of language in the 2020 Water Resources Development Act that would allow the Army Corps to transfer the facilities to LA County Flood District, eliminating red tape in critical infrastructure improvement projects.