LA Councilman Mike Bonin proposes shared housing program for homeless residents

Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin Tuesday proposed using $500,000 from his office's discretionary funds to pay for a shared housing program that is expected to bring 75-100 unhoused people indoors.

The proposal was submitted in a motion to the City Council on Tuesday. Shared housing is a form of housing where people live together in a fully furnished single-family home, with each person sharing a bedroom with a roommate.

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Rent is paid from the residents to the homeowner through disability checks or other income, and they do not need to put down a security deposit or go through a credit or background check. The homeowner also furnishes the house and pays the utilities.

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"Shared housing is a fast, nimble and cost-effective solution for many of those who need immediate housing," said Bonin.

Bonin said that the approach has already been successful on the westside. If approved by the City Council, the $500,000 from Bonin's office will fund a program administered by SHARE!, The Self-Help and Recovery Exchange, which has operated similar programs on the westside.

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Bonin's office partnered with SHARE! to house 187 people in Venice and West L.A. over recent years, and SHARE! helped house, through a contract with Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, more than a dozen people living in Westchester Park.

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"We are really excited by the opportunity to expand our mission and help people find not just a place to live, but find a home and a mutually supportive community,"  said Jason Robison, program director for SHARE!.

"This funding will help bring people inside, saving lives. We are grateful to Councilmember Bonin for his continued support. Long before anyone else in public office was listening, Councilmember Bonin has been a champion for shared housing and for getting people housed quickly."

Bonin's office said the motion is expected to pass the City Council later this month.

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