Article Image

IPFS News Link • California

The LA Times Blows Warm Air on Homelessness

•, by Jacob G. Hornberger

The Times is right. But the problem is that the Times itself is blowing some warm air when it comes to homelessness. Not hot air, mind you, only warm air. 

The hot air being blown by the Republican recall candidates includes putting homeless people into shelters, where they would be forced to confront their mental illness and substance-abuse problems, enlisting the help of churches, and having the state build housing or shelters.

What nonsense, as the Times correctly points out.

The Times hits the nail on the head with identifying the problem and gets oh so close to advancing the solution. It states: 

By and large, people in California have become homeless because so little affordable housing is available. That's a crisis that developed over the decades as elected state and city officials — pressured by NIMBY homeowners — fought density and did nothing to make it easier or affordable to build in this state. None of these candidates has offered clear solutions on how to change that — particularly because what would be required (rezoning, greater density, higher property taxes) is so politically volatile.

After getting so close to endorsing the only solution to the homelessness problem, which would have truly been impressive, the Times goes off the rails in its following and concluding paragraph:

Gov. Newsom has directed billions toward the acquisition of hotels, motels and apartment buildings to turn into housing for homeless people. He isn't perfect, but at least he's looking for creative ways to increase housing supply, not shelters.

There is but one solution to the homelessness problem: repeal zoning laws. Let the free-market reign. That would enable people to construct low-cost housing or mobile-home parks in areas in which zoning prohibits such things.