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10% Of Residents Plan To Move Out Of L.A. County In The Next Year, USC Study Finds

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Los Angeles County

About one in 10 residents plan to move out of Los Angeles County in the next year, according to a University of Southern California (USC) study. 

The annual USC Dornsife-Union Bank LABarometer Livability Survey assesses neighborhood quality of life in Los Angeles County, measuring residents’ life satisfaction, stress related to housing, neighborhood satisfaction, exposure to crime and social connectedness, according to the university.

USC researchers surveyed 1,800 L.A. County residents between Nov. 9, 2020, and Jan. 7, 2021. 

To compare livability in Los Angeles to the entire state of California and the U.S., the same questions were fielded to more than 9,000 U.S. residents from Feb. 18, 2021, to March 17, 2021. 

The survey also tracks consumer confidence through six questions regarding individual finances and the economy.

Angelenos remain less satisfied with the quality of their life, compared to people throughout California and the U.S., and the gap has widened, according to the study.

On a scale of one to seven, where one denotes low life satisfaction and seven denotes high life satisfaction, the average life satisfaction in L.A. County is 4.3, nearly unchanged from 2019.

“Five months after our first LABarometer livability survey, everyone’s lives were upended by COVID-19. Our latest findings, which reflect the experiences of L.A. County residents during the peak of the pandemic, reveal reasons for optimism as well as concern,” said Kyla Thomas, director of LABarometer.

But it’s almost half a point lower than the U.S. and California average of 4.7 — double the gap observed in 2019.

10% of Angelenos plan to leave L.A. County in the next year, a 40% increase from 2019. In 2019, 7% of L.A. County residents said they planned to leave Los Angeles and 16% said they planned to move to new housing somewhere else in the county. 

The new findings reveal that 10% of Angelenos now plan to move away from L.A. County while 14% plan to find new housing in the county.

“The 40% increase in the number of people who plan to leave Los Angeles in the coming year, however, raises a red flag. It’s also worrisome that the gap in life satisfaction between L.A. County and the national average has grown,” Thomas said.

Consumer confidence in L.A. County is rising, while it has stalled throughout the rest of California and the U.S. On a scale of zero to 100, where higher numbers denote more positive assessments of the economy, consumer confidence in L.A. County (50.3) remains slightly lower than the entire state of California (50.9) and the U.S. (51.8). 

That said, it has risen sharply since at least the middle of last year, while statewide and throughout the country, consumer confidence has stalled. 

The 50.3 consumer confidence measurement in L.A. County is down 3.3 points from June 2019 but up 2.7 from June 2020.

Angelenos perceive there to be less crime, vandalism, and drug and alcohol use in their neighborhoods than they did in 2019.

“It’s encouraging that perceptions of neighborhood crime are down and that consumer confidence in Los Angeles is rising, even as confidence has stalled in other parts of the state,” Thomas added. 

For more information on the study, visit here

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L.A. Homeless Shelter Capacity Up 57% In Three Years, Still Less Than Demand

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Devon Miller / The Valley Post

The number of homeless shelter beds in Los Angeles has increased by over 50% in the past three years, however, demand still outpaces the capacity. 

The 2021 Housing Inventory Count and Shelter Count, released by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) Wednesday, shows the nightly shelter capacity in the L.A. area has grown despite challenges faced by the pandemic. 

LAHSA found that the L.A. region’s shelter capacity on any given night was 24,616 beds, a 57% increase over the last three years. The agency also reported 33,592 permanent housing options, an increase of 16% over the same period.

Through “unprecedented coordination” and a critical influx of state and federal emergency funding, the L.A. region’s rehousing system’s response to COVID-19 saved lives, according to  Heidi Marston, executive director of LAHSA.

“We must build off of that momentum as we emerge from the pandemic to build the infrastructure necessary to address our homelessness crisis and collectively confront the conditions that continue to push people into homelessness,” Marston said in a statement. 

The Los Angeles region needs to build a more balanced system with more housing options. A balanced rehousing system has five permanent housing exits for each shelter bed; the Los Angeles system is closer to one-to-one, according to the executive director. 

The Housing Inventory Count is a census of all interim and permanent housing options in the homeless rehousing system at a given point-in-time. This year, the Housing Inventory Count occurred on Jan. 27.

LAHSA reported these results despite the global pandemic causing a considerable strain on its shelter supply. 

In accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, all of Los Angeles County’s congregate shelters had to decrease their bed count through a process called decompression. 

However, strategic investments by the federal, state, and local governments through Project Roomkey and Project Homekey helped make up for the loss of capacity, according to the agency.

The Shelter Count revealed that there were 17,225 people in a shelter on the night of the count, which is virtually unchanged from the previous year. 

LAHSA cited that without the addition of 2,357 Project Roomkey beds and 497 Project Homekey beds, there could have been a more significant drop in the shelter count due to decompression.

Following the advice of public health officials, LAHSA did not conduct an Unsheltered Count in 2021 to protect the 8,000 volunteers needed to complete the Count each year from COVID-19. The agency is planning to resume the Unsheltered Count in 2022.

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Home Prices In San Fernando Valley Reach New High, Median Nearing $1 Million

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Los Angeles Homes

The median price of San Fernando Valley homes sold during June reached a record high while sales soared 56.9% and the number of properties listed for sale lingered at low levels.

The median price was $955,000, up 28.9% from June 2020, according to the Southland Regional Association of Realtors (SRAR).

June was the fourth consecutive month with the median above the $900,000 benchmark.

“Not long ago it would have been inconceivable that the San Fernando Valley would see the median home price inching toward $1 million,” said Diane Sydell, president of the association in a statement. “Now it seems inevitable, especially with today’s wealth of buyers, dearth of inventory, and heated competition over virtually every listing.”

The condominium median price for June was $519,000, up 12.8% from June 2020, but 3.9% below the record high $540,000 set this April.

A total of 554 single-family homes closed escrow during June, up 56.9% from a year ago and 11.5% ahead of May’s tally. It was the first month this year above 500 sales and the highest monthly total since June 2018.

The statistics for condominium sales were not as dramatic, in part because of the extremely limited supply of condominiums listed for sale, according to SRAR.

There were 725 active home and condominium listings at the end of June, the first month above 700 listings this year.

“The market has been overheated and buyer fatigue may be a factor going forward,” said Tim Johnson, the association’s chief executive officer. “Too many buyers are weary of competing with unseen competitors and losing to a higher bidder even when they come to the market fully prepared to buy. ”

That may translate in buyers being a bit more cautious, which when combined with the
reopening of the economy may yield a slowdown in sales and a few more listings.

Yet Johnson stressed that a “few more listings” doesn’t go far, even if some buyers are starting to take a bit longer to jump into the market.

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Supervisors Delay Vote For Plan To Transfer ‘Serious’ Juvenile Offenders To Santa Clarita

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Santa Clarita Camp Scott Camp Scudder (1)
Photo Courtesy of the City of Santa Clarita

A vote to approve the transfer of “serious” juvenile offenders to detention facilities in Santa Clarita on Bouquet Canyon Road was delayed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. 

The motion, made by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Holly Mitchell, instructs Camps Joseph Scott and Kenyon Scudder to be renovated within 90 days so that the facilities can be used by this juvenile offender population.

The juvenile detention camps are located within the limits of the City of Santa Clarita, on county-owned property that reaches within 600 feet of existing homes, according to the City. 

On Tuesday, the board delayed a vote on the motion to the next meeting on July 20 after many Santa Clarita residents spoke out about the plan.

Last month, the Los Angeles County Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) subcommittee submitted a report recommending the use of Camps Scott and Scudder as long-term holding facilities for all male offenders countywide.

If approved the camps would house offenders, between the ages of 12 and 25 years old, convicted of crimes including murder, rape, arson and robbery.

The move was brought forth after the signing of Senate Bill 823, which transferred the responsibility for the custody, treatment and supervision of youth to counties, effective July 1, 2021.

SB 823 requires counties to create a subcommittee, known as the Division of Juvenile Justice, to develop a plan describing the facilities, programs, placement and strategies needed to provide appropriate rehabilitative and supervision services for the juvenile population.

In a report requested by the County and issued in December 2020 – Camps Scott and Scudder were not even mentioned as options for the relocation, according to the City. 

However, the Youth Justice Reimagined Report does dedicate significant analysis and consideration to other existing juvenile facilities in the County and ultimately, recommends Camps Kilpatrick and Gonzales. 

“This motion was added to the agenda without any communication with the City of Santa Clarita or our residents,” said City officials. “This motion was made without any consultation with the City, and the Santa Clarita City Attorney’s Office is currently evaluating all legal options.”

The report cites security, remoteness from nearby communities, capacity for vocational and educational training, and a therapeutic environment as factors that attributed to their ultimate recommendation.

On June 23, the Santa Clarita City Council unanimously voted to oppose the plan, adding there were “no efforts made” by the County DJJ Subcommittee in engaging with members of the community.

Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who represents Santa Clarita, said she is going to look into alternative sites to house the offenders, including three other camps in Los Angeles County.

Note: This story has been updated at 12:25 p.m. Tuesday, July 13 with information on the delayed vote for the motion.

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