The Questionable Practices an LA Hotel is Using to House the Homeless

Hollywood hotel receives more than twice what it would for renting rooms to city of Los Angeles rather than long-term tenants

PUBLISHED NOV 14, 2023 12:00 A.M.
Share this:  
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass has directed the city’s housing department to conduct a comprehensive review of all residential hotels in response to an investigative report.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass has directed the city’s housing department to conduct a comprehensive review of all residential hotels in response to an investigative report.   City of Los Angeles

The financial numbers around California’s homeless crisis can be striking and illustrative of a stark truth: In a state that has about a third of the people in the U.S. currently experiencing homelessness, there’s money to be made off the current state of affairs.

A joint project between ProPublica and Capital & Main gives what appears at first glance to be a glaring example of this.

The piece discusses how the Las Palmas Hotel in Hollywood, Calif., received a roughly $2 million contract from the city of Los Angeles to house people temporarily who had been living on the streets. The 62-unit hotel, in turn, housed people at up to $140 each night, more than twice what it would have gotten by letting people stay at long-term rates. The hotel allegedly did this despite a 2008 city law that prohibited charging so much.

The contract came through LA Mayor Karen Bass’s signature initiative related to homelessness, Inside Safe, with a spokesperson for the mayor commenting in the article via email. “It is troubling that residential hotels were being misused for daily rates and short-term vacation rentals,” she wrote. “Now, many of those rooms are being used to urgently bring people inside and save lives, and the mayor has directed the Housing Department to address enforcement and to conduct a comprehensive review of all residential hotels.”

Read the full article, Residential Hotels Got Contracts Under the Los Angeles Mayor’s Homelessness Program Despite Violations, on ProPublica.org.

Support California Local

$10 • $25 • $50 • Our Impact
Signal Booster

Short articles which extol the virtues of a report or article put out by a local newsroom.

Join Us Today!