L.A. City Measure HHH

Homeless residents of Los Angeles | photo Flickr John Bata
Homeless residents of Los Angeles | photo Flickr John Bata

What would Measure HHH do?

Measure HHH would raise property taxes in order to issue a bond for $1.2 billion dollars to help the homeless in the City of Los Angeles. The tax hike would last for 29 years. The bonds would build about 10,000 units of housing.

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Homeless in Los Angeles | photo Flickr Duncan C
Homeless in Los Angeles | photo Flickr user Duncan C

More specifically, the bond money would be used to:

  • Build supportive and affordable housing for the homeless and for those in danger of becoming homeless including battered women, foster youth, vets, seniors and the disabled.
  • Buy land to build affordable and supportive housing for the homeless.
  • Provide temporary shelters, storage facilities, showers for the homeless.
  • Provide services to the mentally ill and substance abusers.
  • Pay for utilities, sidewalks, streets and landscaping that go along with new housing.

How many homeless are there and how much housing would be built?

  • There are about 28,000 homeless people in Los Angeles.
  • Measure HHH would build about 10,000 units of supportive housing which include social services.

Who would pay for Measure HHH?

Property owners would pay, which means anyone who owns a home, condo or business property in the City of Los Angeles. The property tax hike would last for 29 years, which is the life of the bonds.

House in West L.A. | photo by Chris Eason
House in West L.A. | photo by Chris Eason, by lburns

How much would property taxes go up?

Averaged over the life of the bond, property taxes would go up $9.65 for every $100,000 of property value. So it depends on the value of your home or property.

Measure HHH's Effect on Property Taxes
Value of home Yearly Tax Increase
$  300,000 $ 28.95
$ 400,000 $ 38.60
$  500,000 $ 48.25
$  600,000 $ 57.90
$  700,000 $ 67.55
$  800,000 $ 77.20
$  900,000 $ 86.82
$1,000,000 $ 96.50
$1,500,000 $144.75
$2,000,000 $193.00
$3,000,000 $ 289.50

What are the arguments in favor Measure HHH?

The L.A. City Council approved Measure HHH unanimously. It is also supported by homeless advocates, the United Way of Greater L.A., county labor unions, and former L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. It was also endorsed by the L.A. Times.

They argue:

  • There are about 28,000 homeless people in L.A. and the problem is growing.
  • Homelessness creates a public health and safety crisis in many neighborhoods across L.A.
  • There is a dire shortage of affordable housing in L.A.
  • Without Measure HHH the city could only build 3000 units of affordable housing. This bond would allow construction of 10,000 units.
  • Reducing the homeless population will help the quality of life in our neighborhood and keep property values up.
  • The money will be carefully controlled and audited. It will be used only for approved projects.

What are the arguments against Measure HHH?

Opponents to Measure HHH include budget and tax watchers including the California Taxpayers Action Network, “City Watch” columnists Jack Humphreville and former Chief Deputy Assessor, Mark Ryavec.

They say:

  • It won’t solve the problem. It would build too few units. Thousands of homeless would still be on the street while politicians get their ‘photo opp’
  • New affordable housing wouldn’t show up for 3 years.
  • The bond money would only pay for land and housing. Services for mental health or addiction recovery are not covered by the bond.  So it will not get to the root of the problem.
  • The tax is unequal. Property owners would pay but renters would not have to.
  • After interest the total cost of the bonds would be $2 billion.
  • The budget for the city of L.A. has gone up. If they were serious about homelessness they would have spent more on the homeless problem. Instead they spend/waste taxpayer money on other things.
  • The Skid Row non-profits have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the homeless. But the homeless are still here. Funding is not the problem. Lack of oversight, transparency and accountability is the problem.  

What does a “yes” and “no” vote means?

A “yes” vote means the city will issue $1.2 billion in bonds to help the homeless paid for by an increase in property taxes.

A “no” vote means the city will not issue the bonds and property taxes will not rise -- at least not for this purpose.

* Note: Measure HHH needs a 2/3 majority to pass.

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