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Homelessness: A Lot More People Are Homeless in Los Angeles These Days

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[Image via Eyetwist / Curbed LA flickr pool]

Los Angeles is in the thick of a perfect storm of paycheck-consuming rents, reduced federal funding, stagnant/declining wages, and mass evictions right now, so it's not too much of a surprise that the upcoming report from the Los Angeles County homeless count is expected to show that the number of homeless residents in the county has risen dramatically, the LA Times says. The count is conducted every two years; the last one found 39,000 homeless people living in LA County. Update 5:49 p.m.: Homelessness in both LA County and the city of LA are up 12 percent from two years ago, while "the number of tents, makeshift encampments and vehicles with people living in them soared 85 percent," says the LA Times.

Beachy Venice has a long history of attracting homeless people with a (now-former) live-and-let-live attitude and lots of open space on the beach for camping, and Councilmember Mike Bonin tells KPCC that this year "I think we're going to see about a thousand people living on the streets or in their cars, which would be a pretty sharp increase for us in Venice."

Locals say they've seen rising numbers of people living on the streets since the economy took a nosedive back in 2008, but now there are other factors pushing people into homelessness too—like the crunch on housing in the neighborhood that's being exacerbated by Airbnb and other short-term rental sites. In March, a report found Venice is the top Airbnb revenue-generating neighborhood in Los Angeles, with 12.5 percent of all units being used as short-term rentals instead of as actual housing for tenants. (Venice is also perpetually one of the top five most expensive places in LA to rent.)

The only silver lining is that the countywide report is expected to show a marked drop in veteran homelessness, a direct result of the pushes by federal and local governments to get former servicemen and women off the streets.
· L.A. County's homeless population expected to rise in new tally [LAT]
· As police shooting sparks anger, early report shows homeless population in Venice has increased [SCPR]
· Los Angeles Housing Now More Screwed Up Than San Francisco [Curbed LA]
· Mass Rent-Control Evictions Doubled in Los Angeles Last Year [Curbed LA]
· The Nine Neighborhoods That Make All the Airbnb Money in LA [Curbed LA]