Can a Houstonian Approach to Homelessness Work in L.A.?

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As many people know, homelessness has grown at an alarming rate in recent years and pursuing solutions is becoming a major challenge for cities across the country. There doesn’t seem to be a one-size-fits-all approach and much of the work is left to local municipalities or nonprofit organizations—even activist groups and charitable organizations. This means that approaches vary from city to city, and so does the rate of success and actual outcomes.

Much has been published on the issue over the last couple of weeks specifically looking at Los Angeles and how, according to an audit, the city spends as much as $837,000 per unit for housing homeless people—an approach that has raised a lot of criticism. Moreover, homelessness has actually decreased in other parts of the L.A. metropolitan area, such as in Pasadena and Glendale.

That’s making people wonder what part of L.A.’s approach isn’t working, and a recent article from the L.A. Times has suggested that maybe the city should be taking its cues from another massive Sunbelt city: Houston, Texas. Today on Upzoned, host Abby Kinney and special guest Rachel Quednau “upzone” this proposal, analyzing it through the Strong Towns lens.

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