Los Angeles Wins $1 Million in Bloomberg Philanthropies U.S. Mayors Challenge

by Mayor's Office (https://www.lamayor.org) on November 1, 2018
Arial Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced that Los Angeles was selected as a winner of Bloomberg Philanthropies U.S. Mayors Challenge, a yearlong competition that challenged city leaders to uncover and test bold, inventive ideas to confront the toughest problems faced by cities today.

L.A. was selected as a winner for its innovative approach to combating the City’s homelessness crisis: offering incentives to make it easier and cheaper for single-family homeowners to build accessory dwelling units — in exchange for allowing a homeless resident to rent the unit for three years.

“This program is good business for a good cause,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The ADU pilot is specifically designed to pair homeowners with homeless Angelenos who are stable, prepared to move into housing, and ready to rebuild their lives. For a homeowner, it’s a win-win: the City lowers your construction costs, matches you with a tenant who is determined to make their housing work, and connects you with a case manager to ensure a seamless transition.”

With the $1 million grant, the City could help residents build enough ADUs to house hundreds of Angelenos in the program’s first three years. The new program will include:

  • A one-stop shop portal where property­ owners could access pre­-approved unit designs and assess feasibility of the designs for their particular property;
  • Financial incentives for property ­owners, valued between $10,000 and $30,000, which may include: waived or reduced permit processing fees, a grant, a tax credit, access to innovative financing options developed for ADUs, and advisory support through the permitting process;
  • Neighbor-to-neighbor online matching tool to ensure a good fit between the homeless resident and the property­ owners;
  • A path to self-sufficiency for the homeless resident by supporting them through case management and reduced rent, with the expectation that by the third year, the tenant would be able to pay the full rent amount.

The new program will launch in Spring 2019. Homeowners interested in participating are encouraged to contact the City at mayors.challenge@lacity.org

"Mayors across the country are tackling the big issues that Washington is ignoring. This competition is designed to help them do even more, by incentivizing and supporting big — and achievable — new ideas,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term mayor of New York City. “Congratulations to all of the winning mayors, who represent cities large and small, in regions across the country. We look forward to seeing the results of their work -- and to helping the ideas that prove most effective spread far and wide."

Nine cities will receive $1 million to begin implementation on potentially breakthrough solutions to homelessness, the opioid crisis, mobility, climate change, and economic opportunity.

Los Angeles was joined by Denver, CO; Durham, NC; Fort Collins, CO; Georgetown, TX; Huntington, WV; New Rochelle, NY; Philadelphia, PA; and South Bend, IN as winners of the U.S. Mayors Challenge.

New to the Mayors Challenge this year was a 6-month “test and learn” phase where 35 Champion Cities were selected through an application process. Those cities received up to $100,000 and technical assistance to test, develop, and build support for their ideas. Cities tested core components of their ideas with residents, improved and refined their proposals, and developed a plan for implementation and impact measurement.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies works in 480 cities in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2017, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $702 million.