I wrote about what some people were calling the Homeless-Industrial Complex in LA and the billions being squandered two years ago.
Proposition HHH was going to solve the homeless crisis by hiking property taxes to raise $1.2 billion. The money would be used to build housing for the homeless. $1.2 billion could house all the homeless.
Couldn’t it? If it couldn’t, it was part of a $4.6 billion package of homeless tax hikes. There was Proposition H which added to the already hefty sales tax. Los Angeles voters backed that one too.
But instead the number of homeless increased faster than the supply of homeless housing. By ’18, the number of homeless was up to 58,000 from 32,000 in 6 years. Increasing subsidies to the homeless only increased their number.
The homeless housing being approved costs an average at $479,000 per unit. Two run at $650,000.
Can the Homeless-Industrial Complex do better than that? Of course.
Try spending enough per unit to buy a bunch of houses in some parts of the country.
The price tag for some of Los Angeles’ housing for the homeless is expected to hit a whopping $746,000 per unit, far more than the cost of building some luxury high rise condos in downtown.
That’s not a typo. $746,000.
Cue an activist to whine about how we don’t spend enough money on the homeless, education, social welfare, etc, even as insane amounts of money are shoveled at every lefty domestic priority.
The audit says the average cost of apartments currently under construction is $531,000 per unit and is expected to get as high as $746,000 per unit on the Lorena Plaza Apartments to be built for the homeless on East 1st Street. That price tag is higher than some of LA’s luxury condos that come complete with swimming pools, gyms and round the clock doormen.
It was $479K when I wrote about it two years ago. Now we’re up to $531K. Give the Democrats another decade and it’ll be a million a piece.
How do these units end up costing $746,000? Enough money to buy a house, even in some parts of LA.
City Controller Ron Galperin audit examines the use of $1.2 billion of Prop HHH money overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2016.
Prop HHH tax dollars were intended to “facilitate development” of up to 10,000 units of housing for LA’s homeless. Four years later, only 228 units have been built, the cost per unit to the taxpayers keeps rising and construction on some projects is behind.
Galperin says the rising cost of building housing for the homeless is due partly to the red tape involved in getting projects approved and the fact that there are “a lot of consultants” involved in the projects.
How many consultants do you need to build apartments?
But come on, folks. You get the contracts because you hire the consultants. And you create the crisis to hire the consultants.
If you’ll recall, when a younger dumber Mark Zuckerberg got together with Cory Booker to throw $100 million at Newark public schools, the money vanished and much of it went to, say it with me, consultants.
But… if only we spent more on the homeless and public schools, then Democrats would get even richer.