live / 2021

An LA We Can All Call Home

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by PATH (People Assisting the Homeless)

PATH will transform LA’s COVID housing efforts by amplifying the voices of formerly homeless advocates who have experienced the process. We operate one of LA’s primary pandemic housing solutions: LeaseUp, which increases the affordable housing supply through landlord engagement. We will create a Lived Expertise Advisory Board to assess LeaseUp, recommend person-centered adaptations, and advocate for systemwide changes to elected officials—helping PATH change LA’s housing market and expediting our most marginalized neighbors’ housing journeys.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • County of Los Angeles

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

PATH seeks to address LA’s growing homeless crisis, which is set to rise drastically during the pandemic. Housing has been historically inaccessible to many Angelenos with an estimated 509,000 affordable units needed to bridge the gap. In early 2020, LA saw more than 66,000 of our neighbors experience homelessness—a number set to skyrocket post-eviction moratorium. In LA County, 685,000 jobs have been lost. Compounded by rising rents, housing shortages, poor health, and more, the pandemic recession is projected to push another 52,300 adults out of their homes. Chronic homelessness is also set to increase in LA by 86% over the next four years. Our Black neighbors are impacted most, representing 34% of the homeless population yet only 8% of LA. By ending homelessness, PATH also targets the systemic and institutional racism that caused it. PATH will use a racial equity lens to increase LA’s affordable housing, reduce homelessness more effectively, and help our neighbors make it home.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

An LA2050 grant will help create a Lived Expertise Advisory Board to strengthen PATH’s existing LeaseUp LA initiative, a countywide landlord engagement effort to expand the affordable rental market. Launched in 2018, LeaseUp accelerates housing availability by 1) working with landlords to list their market rate units as affordable and 2) building the PATH-App, a rental listing site that any LA case manager can access for their clients. LeaseUp has since acquired thousands of units and is a key COVID re-housing strategy. PATH seeks to build a LeaseUp Lived Expertise Advisory Board to ensure our critical work is culturally competent, person-centered, and effective. It will comprise formerly homeless LeaseUp participants. They will lend their perspective to assess our overall landlord engagement strategy, review messaging and marketing, and make sure that implementation is aligned with our population’s needs. We will hire an associate director to lead our Lived Expertise Advisory Board and our existing Landlord Advisory Board. They will work with our leadership and meet with other advocates in similar roles to develop a recruitment strategy. At the advisory board kickoff, the members will convene virtually and develop guidelines, expectations, meeting frequency, and more. We will immerse them in LeaseUp, hear and apply recommendations, and uplift their advocacy efforts in local government. Our project is unique because it allows the people being served to guide the service.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative (expanding and continuing ongoing, successful work)

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

30
Direct impact
2,500
Indirect impact

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Thousands of Angelenos who have systemically been excluded from equitable housing will have safe, healthy homes as a direct result of PATH’s work. Without the worry of daily survival, they will be able to stabilize their health and finances, reintegrate into the community, and thrive. Many landlords who contribute their units to us are smaller and rely on this income to support their families. PATH’s efforts will support these individuals who have also been severely impacted in the pandemic recession. At the macro level, PATH’s LeaseUp Lived Expertise Advisory Board seeks to create equitable, accessible housing for Angelenos. Our top priority has always been those we serve and launching this advisory board will take us to the next level. Their voice on what needs to change in LA’s housing market will help inform practices and policies on how to embrace those in need. By first rethinking processes on the ground level, PATH hopes to embed in LA’s culture that everyone deserves a home.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

As an expansion of an existing project, PATH will measure impact with a combination of ongoing and new measures. LeaseUp has made incredible strides since 2018, adding 4,478 new units of affordable housing to LA. Our project’s design places LeaseUp staff as liaisons between landlords and case managers from countywide agencies. They engage and support landlords, acquire units, facilitate lease-up, work with case managers, and address any future issues during a tenant’s lease. On average, it takes three months for a case manager to conduct this process independently and LeaseUp significantly reduces or eliminates that. To date, they have worked with 4,632 landlords and 2,654 case managers from 102 different agencies. PATH’s new LeaseUp Lived Expertise Advisory Board will help increase this amazing success and ensure that this work includes our most marginalized neighbors and directly addresses their disproportionate housing barriers.

Which of the live metrics will you impact?​

  • Housing affordability
  • Resilient communities
  • Homelessness

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

  • LA is the healthiest place to CONNECT