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US Bank Tower and Downtown Los Angeles (Photo: Evan Symon for California Globe)

LA Motel Owners Fight Back Against Mayor Bass’ Homeless Housing Plans

Owners say that city does not give vital guarantees, ignores safety issues

By Evan Symon, December 20, 2022 2:39 pm

A new initiative by Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass to move the homeless into hotels and motels across the city while affordable housing units are built received stiff resistance from hotel and motel owners this week. They say they will oppose the program as much as they legally can.

The new initiative by Bass, known as Inside Safe, would not go after homeless encampments, but rather open up rooms for the homeless and make them available on a long-term basis. The move will cost the city around $100 million, with master leasing being used on motels around encampments. In a Meet the Press interview on Sunday, Bass says that she hopes to house around 95% of LA’s roughly 40,000 homeless this way once fully implemented.

“Well, you know, what we have found in the community organizations that we’re bringing in to do this work is that you can get 95% of the people housed,” explained Bass, who had promised to tackle the homeless issue in the first days of her Mayorship, on Sunday. “People will go. It takes a while. You have to do outreach.”

However, many motel and hotel owners in likely affected areas have sounded off against the idea. In interviews with the Globe on Tuesday, owners noted that similar previous attempts, like Project Roomkey during the pandemic, failed statewide, with more local attempts earlier this year to force owners to give vacant rooms to the homeless failed to get past the LA City Council.

“They keep trying to push this idea of leasing out rooms to the homeless, but they are just not listening to our concerns,” explained Charles Chung, a motel owner in Los Angeles to the Globe on Tuesday. “With [Project] Roomkey, there were so many damaged rooms. My brother’s hotel in San Jose had many rooms torn apart by homeless people being housed there, with no compensation. And then LA tried to force that on us earlier this year. But will they pay for damaged rooms? Can we kick them out when we need to? Is the city liable for what they do? We always get the runaround.”

“Now with this Inside Safe program, they’re trying it again. But enough, you know? Stop trying to push these programs on us until we get to have some limits. A lot of us are actually ok with the idea with some limits, like having the homeless people coming in being vouched for so they don’t destroy the rooms. Or the city signing a contract that they will pay for all damages by them. Or that they will pay the usual daily charge for the rooms If they want to do this, then let’s do it right. Don’t hang us out to dry.”

Other owners concurred.

“We want to help the less fortunate, but we need guarantees,” Anjali Singth, a motel co-owner in Los Angeles, added. “They aren’t giving us any. Yes, they pay for the rooms, but there are so many other costs. And what we can handle. Those with mental issues or those that smoke, or those that use drugs. That’s a lot to take in, and a lot that can go wrong. We just aren’t handled to accommodate that. Others want pets in with them and others want a lot of special services from us. But no. We can’t do that really.”

Motel owner Bret Carlson also noted, “The city isn’t doing their part in all of this. They can’t just expect us to shoulder all of the issues that come from these types of guests like this. They think that by just paying for the room that it’s all good. But it isn’t.”

More details on the Inside Safe program are expected soon.

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20 thoughts on “LA Motel Owners Fight Back Against Mayor Bass’ Homeless Housing Plans

  1. Just wait till Mayor Bass gets inundated from lawsuits. Her naivety is due to lack of experience, and I predict there will be more homeless in L.A. 4 years from now than there are today. Her intentions are good, it’s the operations that will be her downfall. I do wish her success though. This is a situation where people like Caruso have a strategic operational advantage.

    1. I 100% agree. stop you people are not listening. homeless people are not going to stop doing drugs and alcohol. you shouldn’t push homeless people in the hotel And motels room’s so they can damage them. I have been watching this happing. you have mental health person’s. how about helping people that need help evictions. pay there rent. homeless persons don’t want help. this is want you don’t get

  2. This is all about funneling money to the new mayors friends in the “nonprofits” of the homeless industrial complex….and punishing property owners…ie hotel and motel owners. This doesn’t get crazy people or criminal vagrants off the streets, it just gives them a place to sleep inside and continue their mayhem.

  3. This might can work but it’s going to take lots of planning. We don’t want to throw in the towel until all avenues are explored. The intent is to qualify individuals. Not all homeless people are responsible. A screening process is required. We also want to consider that many of our youth are sleeping on the streets with their parents. Housing for the homeless is not the same as housing for those with mental health issues. Those with mental health issues cannot be expected to be responsible tenants living in motels.

  4. I personally know mister Chun who owns Best Western Dragon Who participated with Project RoomKey. The room given to me was in need of repair and not fit for habitation. People all involved were violent. My experience was lucky to get out alive.

  5. This is wrong making hotel/motel owners responsible for homeless! Bass is delusional. I completely agree with owners. Paying for rooms is not nearly enough!!!

  6. What about the parasites that come along with the property. Unfortunately, this could mean after they vacate the rooms will need to be fully exterminated. Also, I’m certain they’ll be a strong possibility of bed bugs and that’s a whole other type of treatment.
    The city needs to give assurances that the owners won’t have to bear the cost. The city, will also need to protect themselves from unscrupulous owners that may exaggerate damages. What a mess

  7. HAHAHAHAHHA. 60 years of dem control in California. 40K rooms? Kiss tourism good-bye in SoCal. Tell me again how voting Democrat is a good idea? LOL…. I’m finally on the last leg of getting out of this communist state! You should move too! And leave leftist ideology behind!

  8. You need a hospital housing set up to house those people.Maybe 75% or more of them have mental or drug issues that needs professional care. Hotel and motel personel can’t handle those.

  9. There are 40,000 or more who are homeless in LA but the only solution that Democrat Mayor Mayor Karen Bass can come up with is to stuff them into hotels and motels? This plan has already been tried by Democrats and it has failed? Who would want to vacaton in LA and stay at any of the hotels and motels?

  10. All of this activity is strategically design to have the streets clean before the 2026 scoccer world cup and 2028 Olympics. What will happen after those major events? Remember the homeless issue is throught the country not just LA. Billions of tax payer dollars to other countries, the USA homelessness continues to grow. in addition 100 of thousands entering the country without speaking the language, no jobs and heading to states that protect them. Again another big bandaid.

  11. Draft a contract for every individual room that will be used. The city will sign the contract before getting keys. The contract will hold the city responsible for all damages, just like any other tenant.

  12. A naturally occurring macro economic fact: If the government subsidizes something, it creates a surplus. It’s not a coincidence that the number of homeless increase as government spending increases on ‘programs.’

    This is a self perpetuating problem that is a double edged sword. Government programs do not shrink; they only grow. There is no result-oriented efficiency incentive (profit) built in to government programs. They’re only incentivized to expand.

    We the People must understand that government does not exist to solve every problem.

  13. This is just more government overreach! Telling owners and maintainers of their property what they can and can’t do with it! Same with residential owners who choose to rent out their property, and are told by government who they have to rent to, how much they can charge, and if the tenant doesn’t pay, can’t evict. We sold all of our rental property in CA and exchanged for property in states that respect us as owners. There are owners who are owed thousands and thousands of dollars from deadbeat tenants they couldn’t evict for over two years, and no way to recover those dollars. To quit paying rent, the tenants didn’t even have to prove that they were affected by the covid lockdowns (a hoax in itself!). CA is totally off her rocker!!

  14. Libtards just can’t give up the stupidity addiction! Pearl clutching dopes are throughly imbeded into the stupidist solution to every problem.

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