Wave Wire Services
LOS ANGELES — The City Council approved a motion March 24 seeking to reform and improve the coordinated entry system to address factors that cause significant delays in matching people to housing units.
“In the years since [the coordinated entry system] has been in place, there have been a number of challenges with it,” said Councilwoman Nithya Raman, who presented the motion. “The most important challenge with this system is that we don’t have enough housing. There’s a lot of people on one side waiting to be sorted into housing that simply doesn’t exist.”
According to Raman, recent reporting identified that the coordinated entry system is delivering outcomes that actually underscore some of the challenges that Black Angelenos have in getting in housing, and that it actually under prioritizes unhoused Black residents from being able to get into the housing they need.
“This motion really instructs all of the partners in this system to try and think about how we can fix the inequities that have been baked into the vulnerability index and to address them head on to make sure that we’re doing everything possible to ensure that the time it takes for someone to go from being entered into the system to be matched to housing as short as possible.”
In 2010, the city created a coordinated entry system to coordinate the work of service providers, maintain a real-time list of individuals experiencing homelessness in local communities, and equitably and efficiently match people to available housing resources that best fit their needs.
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority manages the system, which assists matching adults, families with children and youth with housing services.
According to the motion, the City Council would instruct the authority and its homeless service providers to report back within 30 days with a plan to reform and improve the system. The motion instructs the authority to consider several criteria in its report including an alternative assessment tool other than the one currently used; making the coordinated entry system more compatible with place-based interventions, indicating in the coordinated entry system which households are “match-ready” and prioritizing those households for housing matches, and developing and offering training for new and existing permanent supportive housing developers.
“This motion seeks a coordinated entry system that is responsive to what’s happening in the city now,” said Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who co-presented the motion. “So that we can quickly move people into the units that are opening up throughout the city.”
Mayor Karen Bass issued a statement following the unanimous passage of the motion to reform the coordinated entry system, which has been a key priority of her administration to house Angelenos.
“The current coordinated entry system is dysfunctional, impractical and inequitable,” Bass said in a statement. “The result is that housing units sit vacant for far too long when they could be used to save people’s lives.”
“These reforms will cut through the red tape and house people faster,” Bass added. “This is especially critical to make sure the thousands of new permanent housing units that are opening in the next few years are filled as fast as possible.”