LOS ANGELES, Aug. 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- In the face of strong opposition from small, family-owned businesses that make up the hotel industry, the Los Angeles City Council voted this morning to reject a proposal that would have required hotels to make vacant rooms available to unhoused individuals. The measure now heads to the voters in November to decide whether this proposal becomes law.
Proposed by Unite Here Local 11, the labor union representing hospitality workers, the measure would establish a program to place unhoused individuals or families in vacant hotel guest rooms. Hotels would be required to report to the Department of Housing the daily number of vacancies they have and to accept vouchers from the unhoused to stay in a vacant room.
The measure was widely criticized by these small business owners, who expressed serious concerns about being required to provide homeless individuals housing alongside guests. At the meeting, many hoteliers remarked their staff is simply not equipped to provide social services that are required to make such temporary placements successful. With no funding for these services proposed in the ordinance, hoteliers fear that the lack of case management expertise could lead to unsafe condition for workers.
"It baffles me that Unite Here, which claims to protect its members, is leading this measure that would very likely jeopardize worker safety," said Heather Rozman, President & CEO of the Hotel Association of Los Angeles. "We're relieved that the council saw this for the political stunt that it is and call on them to instead pursue long-term solutions to homelessness that actually work."
The hotel industry, including many of these small, family-owned businesses have long been partners to the City on addressing homelessness. Most recently, multiple hotels have voluntarily participated Project Roomkey, which converted hotels into homeless shelters during the pandemic. It viewed this recent measure as vast overreach that would harm these small businesses most as they still struggle to fully recover from drastic losses from the pandemic.
Following the rejection of the measure by the Council, the ordinance now heads to the voters, who likely may see the issue on their ballots in March of 2024.
Contact: Heather Rozman
Hotel Association of Los Angeles
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SOURCE Hotel Association of Los Angeles