Some Los Angeles County homeowners may qualify for up to a $75,000 subsidy to build a second dwelling on their property to house homeless people, if a pilot program is approved Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors.
The program was introduced last year as part of Los Angeles County’s set of 47 strategies to solve homelessness. If approved, the office of Regional Planning would work with several departments countywide with an allocated $550,000 in part to be used to offer subsidies. Homeowners who build a new dwelling in areas zoned for such structures could receive up to $75,000 toward a loan. Those with existing dwellings, could qualify for up to $50,000 for remodeling the structures and legalizing them.
Unlike a guest house, second dwellings include kitchens.
• RELATED STORY: Homelessness surges by 23 percent in LA County
The program also would streamline the permitting process and provide technical assistance to homeowners within the county’s unincorporated areas, who would qualify, said supervising regional planner Connie Chung.
Details of who would be housed and the selection process are still under discussion, Chung said, but the goal of the pilot program is to promote the development of second dwelling units as a source of affordable housing. Funding allows for two to three new second dwellings, and for the remodeling of two to three existing ones, Chung said.
The program is expected to be completed within 18 months of Board approval, she added.
Homelessness spiked 23 percent across Los Angeles County’s neighborhoods and suburbs this year compared with 2016, with more than 55,000 people sleeping on sidewalks, in their cars, or along the Los Angeles River, according to results of a count taken in January and released in May.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles city and county voters approved two measures recently: Proposition HHH, a parcel tax, was approved by voters in the city of Los Angeles in November and is expected to raise $1.2 billion in bonds for the construction of 10,000 units of housing. Measure H, a quarter-cent sales tax, was passed by Los Angeles County voters in March to raise an estimated $355 million a year for 10 years to help homeless people transition into planned affordable housing. That quarter-cent sales tax is set to begin on Oct. 1.