Posted For: Willie Wonka
By Bailee Hill
Los Angeles voters will cast their ballot on a proposal that could force hotels to house the homeless, a policy that has many hotel owners concerned about how it will impact public safety.
President of the Northeast Los Angeles Hotel Owners Association Ray Patel joined “Fox & Friends Weekend,” Sunday, to discuss why the policy is not a long-term solution and his worry if the policy is adopted.
“This is not a solution, it’s just a temporary fix,” Patel told co-host Carley Shimkus. “And during Project Roomkey, a great example, they housed the unhoused in the hotels – but the government never provided an end solution. They never provided transitional services to permanent housing; and simply issuing hotel vouchers impacting our hotels and our marketability of those rooms to the pain tourist, corporate travelers and locals is not a solution now.”
Patel touted the COVID-era program to secure housing for the homeless, but stressed his concern surrounding how the policy would impact public safety as crime continues to spiral out of control.
If passed, the voucher program would require hotels to send information on their vacant rooms for the day by 2 PM daily, but Patel stressed that many guests have not yet checked in by that time.
“That just doesn’t make sense because at 2 PM people are barely checking into the hotels, and they’re asking us to combine both populations in a hotel – the paying guests and those that have hotel vouchers that would be issued by the city,” Patel said.
“And our great concern is the safety of our guests, our staff and also our neighbors that surround the business communities,” he continued.
The homeless crisis has been a long-time issue in Los Angeles, but has worsened in many cities nationwide since the pandemic began.
According to the L.A. Homeless Services Authority, over 66,000 people were homeless in 2020, which was a 12% increase from 2019.
“I think this is something that the government should have resolved long time ago,” Patel said. “It’s been politicized, and you’ll hear this from all the homeless advocate groups, too, looking for housing for the unhoused, as they seem to be taking on as a topic when politicians are running for office – but there’s no solution provided.”