Board of Supervisors Backs Bill to Streamline Motel Conversions
Legislation would make it quicker and easier to convert motels into supportive housing units
Los Angeles, CA — The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has voted unanimously to support legislation in Sacramento that would streamline the process of converting motels into supportive and transitional housing.
“Converting motels into supportive housing should be a quick and cost-effective way to address our homelessness crisis– but stricter regulations often make these conversions more difficult and more expensive than other housing projects,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “By streamlining motel conversions we can get people off the streets quickly and into safe, supportive units where they can begin the long process of putting their lives back together.”
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Supervisor Janice Hahn to support SB 450 authored by State Senator Thomas J. Umberg (D– Santa Ana). The bill would exempt projects related to the conversion of a motel into supportive or transitional housing from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). Projects that would qualify for exemptions would not increase the number of dwelling units and would make only minor alterations to the interior of the buildings to add cooking facilities and the provision of a hotplate or microwave to individual units.
“Our communities need more transitional and supportive housing to come as soon as possible, considering the state’s homelessness crisis. Too many families are staying in these motels because they cannot pass a credit check to lease an apartment, and as a result, they end up paying more to reside in a motel,” said Umberg. “This will make extraordinary opportunities for our state’s cities, as we continue to support our local communities when they diligently work to implement life-changing efforts for those in need. There is no single solution to tackling homelessness, but this gives local communities a sound option.”
The legislation is sponsored by the City of Long Beach and supported by the City of Los Angeles.