Hotels Could Give Rooms To Homeless Under New City Proposal – Los Angeles

LA City Council Agenda Friday: A possible city ordinance that would require hotels or motels to give up their vacant rooms in order to house those living on LA streets.

It’s called the Responsible Hotel Ordinance but opponents say it’s an irresponsible way to do business.

“The initiative mandates that we have to accept those vouchers,”Ray Patel, NELA Hotel Owners Association.

Patel, who is part of the Northeast LA Hotel Owners Association, owns the Welcome Inn Eagle Rock. 

He claims that the initiative at the table is like project roomkey during COVID’s pandemic. However, he neglects the services provided by the county and city for those who are being housed.

“It’s a concern to us because we don’t have the resources to deal with problems that might arise that come with the unsheltered community you see on the streets of Los Angeles. We don’t have security, trained staff, housekeepers are trained to deal with it so we’re concerned with their safety,”Patel stated. 

And yet it’s the housekeeper’s union that’s pushing this initiative forward. Unite here local 11 says the point of this ordinance could drastically improve LA’s visible homeless crisis.

“We think there’s a misunderstanding of who these people are that would be getting housing,” said Maria Hernandez at Unite Here Local 11. 

Hernandez claims that the union was able get more than $126,000 from LA voters to support it and believes it is a win-win situation for hotel owners, who will still be paid for rooms that would otherwise be empty.

“It’s giving us more problems,”Isaias Garcia from Golden Tower Motel.

He says he’s owned the golden tower motel in koreatown for 25 years and knows what can happen.

“They could destroy the rooms, tag them with graffiti,”He said that it costs more to fix than the daily room rate. And he worries the city of LA isn’t offering any guarantees for safety and security.

And there’s also an argument that the initiative disproportionately affects smaller mom-and-pop hotels and motels because their nightly prices are cheaper than bigger chains. 

According to the union, the issue is about more than just the homeless crisis.

“That depends, right? we’ll see what happens but at the end of the day the voucher program would make it so vacant hotel rooms could be used for housing,” Hernandez said.  

The initiative becomes law in thirty days if it is approved by the council tomorrow. It would be up to the voters in 2024 if it was rejected.

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