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The City of Los Angeles is currently experiencing an existential crisis as it grapples with how to address the tens of thousands of Angelenos living on the streets. In response to this crisis, the city has funded and constructed short and long-term housing solutions in order to house as many people as possible. One method of housing has been the A Bridge Home (ABH) Program, which constructs temporary housing for homeless individuals on city or private land. The city has used a variety of types of temporary housing including sprung tent structures, shipping containers, and most recently, tiny homes. 


Current laws state that anything that is built must conform to certain codes and regulations that ensure that the structure will be safe for the public. The Los Angeles Building Code (LABC) is the code that all construction must follow and closely mirrors the California Building Code (CBC). However, the LABC rules and regulations are primarily intended for the construction of permanent structures, not temporary ones. Despite this fact, ABH projects have primarily been constructed using the code requirements for permanent structures. 


In order to allow for the construction of the greatest number of temporary shelters, the Governor signed AB 2553 on September 25, 2020 which allows local agencies to construct shelters as long as they meet the guidelines of Appendix O of the CBC. Furthermore, it allows agencies to adopt an ordinance with different design standards than existing law if they present findings to the state Department of Housing and Community Development as to why they cannot meet the standards of Appendix O and how their alternative design standards protect the health and safety of shelter occupants. 


In order to facilitate the construction of as many temporary housing units as possible for the lowest cost, the city must use the authority granted to it under AB 2553 and draft alternative design standards that are flexible and reduce costs while at the same time providing safe and habitable structures. 


I THEREFORE MOVE that the Chief Legislative Analyst, with the assistance of all other necessary departments, be instructed to evaluate what other California jurisdictions have done under the authority granted to them by AB 2553 and based on this analysis. develop a new set of design standards that provides the most amount of design flexibility and reduces capital costs. 

I FURTHER MOVE that the City Attorney, in coordination with the Chief Legislative Analyst, be requested to draft an ordinance, establishing these new design requirements. 


I FURTHER MOVE that this matter be deemed an urgent necessity and that the Chief Legislative Analyst report and the draft ordinance be transmitted to Council for review and approval within 30 days of the adoption of this motion. 

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