LOS ANGELES: The Los Angeles County has approved a motion to declare a state of emergency over the region's homeless crisis.
Homelessness is a specific and prolonged emergency that is impacting more individuals than other emergencies, said the motion co-authored by County supervisors Lindsey Horvath and Kathryn Barger.
"Homelessness is a complicated and multifaceted issue that requires, among other things, the development of new affordable housing, including land-use policy decisions to permit such housing," Xinhua news agency quoted the motion as said.
The motion called for the County to provide critical services to homeless individuals, including general health, mental health, and substance abuse treatment services.
As of early 2022, Los Angeles County had 69,144 homeless residents, including 70 per cent that were unsheltered, the highest number of unsheltered persons in the US, according to the motion.
"This declaration will usher in a renewed sense of urgency, leading with transparency, creating the tools required to combat this humanitarian crisis," said Horvath in a tweet after the vote on Tuesday.
In a separate post, Barger noted: "It will help us cut through red tape, accelerate our hiring of mental health professionals & streamline contracting services."
Tuesday's development came about a month after a similar, citywide emergency declaration was enacted by new Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass immediately after taking office.