More Issues


On any given night in Los Angeles, more than 41,000 people go to sleep without a place to call home. Single mothers and fathers, veterans and the working poor, those with medical needs and others who just need a second chance; their struggles are an indictment of our tattered social safety net and a bureaucracy that has paralyzed itself into inaction. 

For several years in my early twenties, I was homeless. I lived in my car, relied on the kindness of friends for a place to stay, and even spent two years sleeping on the floor of an office building where I worked.

Like so many Angelenos today – I had a job; I just couldn’t afford to pay the rent.

It’s that experience that drives me to act with urgency, where others have preferred to triangulate, study, and poll-test the best way out of our city’s homelessness crisis.

That’s why I moved so quickly to create more homeless housing opportunities in the last year than anyone else in the City.  All told, I have created over 1,600 units of emergency  housing since being sworn into City Council – and we’re not done yet. In fact, just 10 months into my term, the City Council unanimously adopted my “25×25” plan– 25,000 units by the year 2025 – in order to help house those who are experiencing homelessness. 

Anyone can make big promises about solving homelessness, but the difference is: I’m already doing something about it.   

As Mayor, I will take this same action-based approach and hit the ground running to get our fellow Angelenos off the street and into housing, and to get them the help they need.


Not enough housing options to lift struggling Angelenos into housing


Build emergency units at the scale this emergency demands


25 x 25

Councilmember de León’s plan to create 25,000 units by 2025 was unanimously passed by the City Council. This program will scale up the production of emergency housing quickly, and includes permanent supportive housing – which is what’s needed to provide our unhoused neighbors a fair shot at the life they deserve. It also requires the City to utilize creative housing solutions like adaptive reuse, tiny home shelters, and master leasing to put a roof over peoples’ heads quickly.


Implement Councilmember de Leon's newly adopted motion to streamline the development of emergency housing

This will reduce building costs and speed up production of units by requiring departments to respond to developers within 15 days of receiving plans for review.


Identify more land to build on

Overhaul the process for identifying usable properties that could be transformed into interim shelter and permanent supportive housing.


Too many who are still housed are in danger of losing their home


Focus on homelessness prevention— not just services for those already experiencing homelessness


Mandate affordable housing in every new project across the city

For too long, the city has allowed developers to buy their way out of creating affordable housing by paying in-lieu fees. Instead, Mayor de León will require the inclusion of affordable housing in new projects; and incentivize further development by upzoning commercial corridors and expanding adaptive reuse.


Reinforce the Tenants’ Anti-Harassment Ordinance

This is a newly created program that gives tenants a baseline of protection from predatory landlords. Critically, Mayor de León will implement the ordinance prior to the end of the eviction moratorium.


Enforce a tenant’s right to counsel

Approximately 90% of tenants facing eviction lack access to counsel, yet the right to counsel is one of the most cost-effective ways to keep people in their homes.


Fight for the resources our city needs to overcome this challenge

This means creating a team – directly accountable to Mayor de León – that will  lead negotiations with Sacramento and Washington D.C. for resources to deal with homelessness and mental health – from increasing the value of Section 8 vouchers to funding for wraparound services. This is a generational fight for the soul of our City, and we have to marshall all available resources.


Expand and streamline FamilySource and WorkSource Centers

The city currently has entities to provide job assistance or help with receiving critical resources for those in need. This needs to be expanded throughout the city by doubling the amount of FamilySource Centers and WorkSource Centers


Lack of mental health and addiction services


Create a Los Angeles Department of Public and Mental Health to create accountability and capacity


Create the Los Angeles City Department of Public and Mental Health

  • For the second largest city in the nation, our existing bureaucracy – splintered between the city and county governments – has become a life-threatening hurdle to progress. Councilmember de León has already introduced a motion to create our own public health services under a new, central entity, giving the city a mechanism to draw down resources from the state and federal government to more efficiently provide mental health and substance abuse recovery services to our unhoused Angelenos.

Broaden ability to access support during a mental health crisis

A person shouldn’t have to be a danger to themselves or others to get the support they need. We will also lead the State to make it easier for families and loved ones to provide much-needed help for those truly too incapacitated to accept it.

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