A ULI Advisory Services panel convened in December 2017 offered solutions to one of the most pressing urban challenges—prevalent homelessness—by examining the problem in the city of Los Angeles.
Funded entirely by the ULI Foundation, the panel provided recommendations specific to Los Angeles but adaptable to other metropolitan areas, including short-term actions to expand the availability of temporary shelters as well as solutions to increase the supply of and access to affordable housing.
The panel, which received significant support from ULI Los Angeles, was convened at the suggestion of several ULI Los Angeles leaders, including ULI Life Trustee Wayne Ratkovich. “Among ULI’s 42,000-plus members, there are people with an enormous amount of experience in all aspects of city building, and ULI was able to draw upon those resources and bring to Los Angeles a group of people willing to share their expertise on an issue that is very important to the city,” said Ratkovich, president of the Ratkovich Company in Los Angeles. “The work of this panel speaks very highly of ULI and the capabilities its membership can bring to any urban challenge.”
The panel’s report builds on existing efforts to combat homelessness by providing short- and long-term housing solutions and offering guidance on deploying and leveraging public homelessness assistance funds. “We saw a high level of concern, sensitivity, and caring among all the stakeholders about finding good solutions,” said Leigh Ferguson, panel chairman and economic development director for the downtown district of New Orleans.
Following the report’s publication, ULI Los Angeles worked with Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office to help implement key recommendations related to transitional housing. The District Council gathered top-level architecture, landscape architecture, and commercial real estate leaders to assist in the city’s “A Bridge Home” program, which is building safe and clean shelters to help homeless people transition to long-term housing.
ULI’s recommendations informed provisions for homeless shelters that were included in the annual budget presented by the mayor for the city of Los Angeles, including a commitment to provide temporary housing structures in every council district. “The results of our design charrettes and outreach will help secure greater neighborhood support for the Bridge Home program by identifying site criteria and design solutions,” said ULI Los Angeles Chairman and Americas Executive Committee Member Clare DeBriere, founder of C+C Ventures in Los Angeles. “We look forward to continue building a coalition of support to make a positive difference in our city’s future.”
Support for the panel came from more than $500,000 raised at a ULI Foundation gala held at the 2017 Fall Meeting to raise funds for the Advisory Services program and honor one of the Institute’s strongest supporters, ULI Foundation Governor Roy March, who helped significantly with the fundraising effort.
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