Sure, you can blame this one on Mayor Karen Bass, Castro’s old homegirl, but look at what the track record was before her.
A $1.2 billion program intended to quickly build housing for Los Angeles’ sprawling homeless population is moving too slowly while costs are spiking, with one project under development expected to hit as much as $837,000 for each housing unit, a city audit disclosed Wednesday.
About 1,200 units have been completed since voters approved the spending in 2016, which was then a centerpiece in a strategy intended to get thousands of people off the streets. But the tally of units built so far is “wholly inadequate” in the context of the homeless crisis, said the audit issued by city Controller Ron Galperin.
So what’s a mere $67 million to house 255 homeless?
A year after Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass spearheaded her “Inside Safe” program to house the city’s homeless, results look shaky.
Bass has shelled out roughly $67 million on the program but only moved 255 of L.A.’s 46,000 unhoused individuals into permanent housing, so far. Naturally, she told NBC’s I-Team that she was “not satisfied with those numbers.”
Just wait until it’s a few billion. Then she’ll be satisfied.
But that’s over a quarter of a million per homeless person. At that rate it’ll cost $10 billion to house 46,000. But don’t be fooled, LA can spend that much with no result.
This is just how big city social services work now. Remember former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s worse half who couldn’t count for hundreds of millions in spending?
Fast-forward to Wednesday, when the City Council was startled to discover that mayoral spouse Chirlane McCray had spent an eye-popping $900 million since the program’s inception — and nobody seems to have a clue on what.
Council members learned Tuesday that only $30 million of Thrive’s $250 million annual budget — an anemic 12 percent — is spent on the seriously mentally ill, with the remainder of that enormously expensive burden shunted off to the city’s more traditional social services agencies.
Turns out that ThriveNYC director Herman had no more firm a grasp on detail than did McCray — telling the hearing that her agency employs 400 benchmarks to measure effectiveness — but that “all of those metrics are being refined.”
Nobody can explain it the way they can’t explain what happened to the military’s spending.
What happens is that government agencies have a lot of money dumped on them. They have no idea what to do with it. They hire various consultants and outside agencies to figure out how to best spend the money. The consultants and agencies are intertwined with members of the government agency.
But much of it is just burn rate. It costs a lot of money to pay a bunch of bureaucrats to sit around and produce meaningless project reports. Shove money at them and they hire more people, embark on more projects and nothing gets done.
They’ll have 400 benchmarks because they’ve gotta do something. The more money there is, the more things they’ll do that don’t actually amount to doing anything.
Much of the bureaucracy spends its time chasing its own wheels, working on proposals to see how effective its proposals are and then assessing them through an equity lens, with four outside consultancies, before deeming the project non-viable and issuing requests for a new proposal.
And before you know it, $25 million has been spent without a single thing being done to fix the problem.
It’s not organized crime, it’s organized government.