In the early months of the COVID19 pandemic, thousands of medically fragile LA County residents who were experiencing homelessness were prioritized for temporary housing in motels and hotels through the Project Room Key program. In the coming months, many of those hotels and motels will gradually revert back to serving tourists and the LA Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) and nonprofit homeless service providers are working to quickly identify permanent housing for those men and women who will have to leave these sheltering places.

Today’s motion, authored by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and passed unanimously by the Supervisors, will increase the number of apartments available, as well as the efficiency with which apartments can be rented, by permitting LAHSA and homeless service providers to lease entire buildings from property owners.

The motion builds on the success of the LeaseUp program, which has increased the number of property owners leasing apartments through County-funded incentive programs. In the last five months, LeaseUp’s listings have increased by more than 1,200 units. Property owners at 10 buildings, representing a total of 373 apartments, have already expressed interest in leasing entire buildings as soon as today’s motion is approved.

“We’ve learned that many LA property owners are interested in a ‘double bottom line,’” said Supervisor Kuehl. “They like receiving rent reliably on the first of the month as well as the other guarantees we offer, such as covering the cost of property management and building repairs. Property owners also appreciate being able to support County efforts to re-house veterans, older residents, families and others as they move from homelessness to housing. Over the last several months, many property owners have made clear they would prefer to rent all of the units in a building in order to reduce the paperwork associated with leasing individual apartments. Today’s motion makes it even easier for property owners to do well and to do good.”