Letters to the Editor: Ending homelessness will take decades, not years

A person sleeps along the sidewalk outside Los Angeles City Hall on Oct. 19.
A person sleeps along the sidewalk outside Los Angeles City Hall on Oct. 19.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: This section from Anita Chabria’s Nov. 18 column on homelessness said a lot:

“‘This problem is not 160,000 people who need to be housed,’ [Dr. Margot Kushe] told me. It’s that California has a never-ending waterfall of people tumbling over the cliff into a system that is already flooded. No matter how much we spend, how hard we try or how much we accomplish, it’s not enough — it wasn’t even before the pandemic.”

Therefore, it is important that urgency, including funding and reform, be applied to three strategic interventions.


First, to help the unhoused into permanent housing; second, to stem the rate at which housing insecurity in the rental market drives people to become unhoused; and third, to deliver more and more affordable and market-rate housing, and with less delay.

This regime of getting people into housing, undertaking prevention efforts and building will take not one year and not one administration. It will need to be in place for the next decade or two.

John Given, Santa Monica


To the editor: Gov. Gavin Newsom is upset with cities over their homelessness action plans. In reality, state government should look in the mirror.

California has been defunding affordable housing in the last 20 years. In 2011, the state eliminated local redevelopment agencies, which had to spend 20% of their property tax revenue on affordable housing.

Stop telling us we should build when Sacramento defunded projects that provided affordable housing. Stop blaming us.


Fran Offenhauser, Los Angeles