California has been out of step with the rest of the country for many years.
It’s not surprising when policies and procedures are enacted here that are real head scratchers, but every now and then something so extreme occurs that it is truly jaw-dropping.
Now, this insane policy destroying a major industry could soon become law in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles City Council has voted unanimously to leave it up to voters to decide whether hotels should be forced to provide unrented units to the city’s homeless.
If the ballot measure is enacted, the so-called “Responsible Hotel Ordinance” will require L.A. hotels and motels to provide rooms to homeless people, alongside paying guests.
The ordinance would make participation mandatory.
This raises major safety concerns, of course, and would open managers to lawsuits if they fail to comply.
The way it would work is that the city would give homeless people vouchers, which they would use to pay for their rooms.
It would subject hotels and motels to a daily reporting requirement.
According to KABC, “Under the initiative, hotels in L.A. would be required to notify the city – every day by 2 p.m. – how many empty rooms they have for the night. The ordinance will require a majority vote to pass. If it becomes law, the city’s Housing Department would pay hotels a fair market rate to lodge each person after identifying hotels with vacant rooms.”
It’s a fact that a large percentage of homeless people have issues with addiction and mental health.
The business community is not impressed.
Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board President Adam Burke said in a letter to board members, “By co-locating homeless individuals alongside regular hotel guests, this proposed legislation would have serious public health and safety implications for visitors and hotel team members alike. It would create a significant deterrent to travelers choosing hotels in the City of Los Angeles. Our community cannot afford this since the sustained recovery in our visitor industry is critical to hundreds of local businesses and the 500,000+ Angelenos whose livelihoods depend on tourism.”
President of the Northeast Los Angeles Hotel Owners Association Ray Pate agrees and in an interview with Fox Business said, “We are very concerned about the safety and the liability of this hotel voucher program, if we’re forced to accept them. Insurance carriers are already claiming that our insurance will go up, or they won’t underwrite for us. A paying guest doesn’t want to be next to somebody that might have some mental or substance issues. And, the hotels don’t have those services available to them. The additional cost, liability and loss of business will force some hotels and motels to close.”
One bright point is that the hospitality industry has a little while to educate the public about the measure and hopefully mobilize opposition to it, since the next local elections aren’t until 2024.
Stay tuned to Blue State Blues for any updates to this ongoing story.