The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Sept. 11 passed a motion to look into how to stem a decline in board-and-care homes for adults with mental illness.

The motion, led by Supervisors Janice Hahn and Sheila Kuehl, directed the county’s Health Agency to draw up a plan to stabilize and expand the number of adult residential facilities across the county.

The agency will seek to identify funding to increase the number of such “board and cares,” while looking into other licensed and unlicensed housing options for adults with serious mental illness. A report is expected back in 60 days.

“Not only do board and cares provide treatment to individuals with serious mental illness,” Hahn said, in a statement. “They are long-term homes for residents who may very well be homeless otherwise. We cannot afford to lose any more board and cares in the middle of this homeless crisis.”

The number of adult residential facilities have declined because of rising property values and increased staffing costs, according to the county. Board-and-care homes for adults numbered 1,283 in April 2017, then fell to 1,132 homes last March, a decrease of 12 percent.

Health business reporter Dana Bartholomew can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @_DanaBart.

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