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Friday, April 6 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
FR3.30.42 The Politics of Homelessness in Los Angeles County

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Homelessness constitutes one of the most important social issues facing cities in the United States, and has become more severe as state and federal aid for the poor declines, urban inequality grows, and once affordable downtown rental units are transformed into expensive units for gentrifying new comers. At the same time, extant studies have consistently found high levels of support for policies that would alleviate homelessness. It thus remains unclear why, given strong public support for these policies, municipal spending for homelessness relief remains low and so many cities turn to punitive policing practices to “manage” the homeless in their cities. We suggest that part of this puzzle can be explained by a gap between expressed and actual support for policies that would alleviate homelessness. Mobilizing data from a first of its kind census of the homeless, uniquely geocoded public opinion data, and voter choice data, we characterize how gentrification, segregation, and spatial proximity to the homeless explain the discrepancy between expressed support for homelessness relief and actual support, and its implications for a ballot proposition in Los Angeles County.




Ayobami Laniyonu, University of California, Los Angeles


Friday April 6, 2018 3:30pm - 4:00pm
Provincial Ballroom (2nd Floor)