UPDATED 1:03 PM PT – Sunday, August 28, 2022
Los Angeles citizens are set to vote on whether or not the city should pay to house the homeless in hotels throughout the city.
After gathering enough signatures in favor of the plan, Project Homekey will officially be placed on the ballot in 2024. If passed, Homekey would require hotels in the city to report vacancies. From there, they would offer the vacant rooms to the homeless who have a voucher from the city. Nightly, more than 20,000 hotel rooms in the county are left empty.
Many people are skeptical of this idea. They worry how guests would react to sharing their hotels with non-paying guests. Those in favor of the bill claim that it will primarily benefit seniors, students and working people despite concerns that they will be unable to screen dangerous voucher recipients.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, the city saw a 16.1% increase of people living on the streets compared to years prior. Currently, there are more than 60,000 homeless people living in Los Angeles County. This year, the number of homeless seniors has been on the rise.