L.A. will eliminate ‘veto’ provision for homeless and affordable housing to keep state funding

To hang on to state funding, Los Angeles will eliminate a disputed requirement that gave city politicians the power to block funding for homeless housing in their districts.

The decision ends a longstanding practice that has drawn criticism from nonprofit groups that assist poor and homeless people: Under city regulations, L.A. has required developers seeking funding for homeless and affordable housing projects to obtain a “letter of acknowledgment” from the City Council member who represents the area.

If a council member declined to provide the letter, a proposed project could not get crucial funding from the city. The Times found that council members have withheld the letter to block homeless housing projects in the San Fernando Valley, South Los Angeles and Westlake. In other cases, officials have used the letter as leverage to push developers to make changes to their building plans.

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