Funds Could Be Used To Pay For Housing and Homelessness Services
By Dolores Quintana
LA City Controller Kenneth Meija’s office released a report on July 5, 2023, that found a substantial amount of unused money in the city’s coffers. The report said, “In analyzing $5.43 billion dollars held in 661 different special funds, we discovered 203 of them where there had been no activity at all for at least two years. Astonishingly, 62 of them have been untouched for more than ten years! While there are often specific restrictions on expenditures from these funds, our analysis shows more than $50 million in idle resources that departments should deploy to meet the purposes for which the funds were collected. “
Most interestingly, the report also stated, “This includes more than $10 million earmarked for vital housing and homelessness expenditures.” During the current housing crisis, this money could be used to advance solutions to the issues of homelessness and affordable housing for Angelenos.
Meija’s office issued recommendations with the report that urged the city to put the money to use for the betterment of the City. Those recommendations are that the departments in the city’s organization should draw up and submit ‘expenditure plans for putting these idle funds to work.” Additionally, they advise that some of these funds should be terminated since the money could then be returned to the General Fund or The General Fund Reserve. They estimated that approximately $600,000 could be redeployed in this manner.
The report went on to say, “Our commitment to transparency and accountability impels us to continually press for maximizing the impact of public resources. Prudent reserves are vital for long-term fiscal sustainability. Yet letting funds sit in obscure accounts for years at a time shortchanges the people of Los Angeles at a time when they are insisting on greater responsiveness from their City government.”