Los Angeles County notified a federal judge Wednesday that it has made its first payment of $17.6 million to the city of Los Angeles in compliance with an agreement to provide beds and services for people experiencing homelessness in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The county and city reached an agreement in June to provide a total of 6,700 beds and services for the homeless in Los Angeles within 18 months.
According to the pact, the city is responsible for creating 5,300 new beds by April and 700 additional new beds by December 2021 for a total of 6,000 new beds.
The city also must provide an additional 700 beds by April that "may be beds previously captured in an agreement or plan between the city and county," according to the county's notice filed in Los Angeles federal court.
The county has committed to pay up to $293 million over the next five years to support the city's obligation to provide the 6,000 new beds. The first payment of $17.6 million to the city was made on Sept. 1 in compliance with a binding term sheet, the notice states.
The agreement is part of the settlement of a lawsuit brought by the L.A. Alliance for Human Rights -- a coalition of Skid Row-area business owners, formerly homeless and disabled city dwellers -- accusing the city and county of not doing enough to combat the homelessness situation in the region, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.
Attorneys for the defendants say the city is working to establish a variety of different types of shelters as quickly as possible, "with each intervention being selected because it is the most appropriate to serve the people experiencing homelessness in each particular location."
A status conference in the suit is scheduled to take place Thursday.