City officials in Los Angeles are considering a new ‘Empty-Home Penalty’ that would impose serious fines on home owners who leave “houses empty,” a move aimed to force landlords into housing the region’s escalating homeless population.
“Just when you think things in the city of Los Angeles couldn’t be any more dysfunctional, they manage to take the cake yet again. The City Council is seriously kicking around a new tax on property owners for leaving homes vacant,” reports the Los Angeles Daily News.
“City Councilmen Mike Bonin, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Paul Koretz and David Ryu have asked city staffers to come up with a plan for an ‘empty homes penalty’ or vacancy tax,” adds the newspaper.
“No bed in this city should be empty when people are being forced to sleep on pavement. … Empty-home penalties encourage landlords to keep people housed, and they help raise needed funds to create more affordable housing. This is an important tool for addressing one of the root causes of homelessness in L.A., and it is a step we desperately need to take,” Bonin said.
Countless residents across Los Angeles are signing a new petition to recall Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti over his failed handling of the city’s homeless crisis; citing rat infestations, tent cities, and snarled traffic across the region.
“I think we are living in third world conditions that are a threat to public health here in Los Angeles, and we have a mayor who is completely ignorant of that and he is an abysmal failure,” said petition supporter Alexandra Datig.
“We have this position in the city of Los Angeles where our leaders seem to think that it’s okay to leave people on the street to die, just whistling past the graveyard. We have had over 3600 people dying on the streets of Los Angeles in the past five years,” she added.
A new survey published last week showed Los Angeles residents are the “most stressed” in the United States; citing traffic, high-taxes, homelessness, and the city’s growing rat infestation in parks and buildings.
“Los Angeles may be known for year-round sunshine, sand and palm trees but its residents are among the most stressed out in the country, according to a new poll,” reports CBS Las Angeles. “OnePoll, questioning 3,000 residents from Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Miami and Chicago for Canada Dry Ginger Ale, found that 76 percent of Angelenos say they are at least ‘somewhat stressed’ every day.”
New York City and Chicago followed LA in “most stressed” citizens at 72% and 65%.
Read the full report here.