Facing record numbers of homeless on city streets, voters in the city of Los Angeles approved a $1.2 billion bond measure to build thousands of housing units for the homeless.

With all precincts reporting as of early Wednesday morning, 76 percent of Los Angeles city voters voted yes on Measure HHH, well above the required two-thirds threshold needed for approval.

The measure authorizes the sale of $1.2 billion in bonds to build an estimated 10,000 housing units for the homeless and some facilities for drug treatment and mental health services for the homeless. The bonds are to be repaid with an increase of about $10 for every $100,000 in home value.

However, the measure does not provide funding for those treatment services; that depends on the county government placing its own funding measure on a future ballot.

Business groups, including the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and the Central City Association, strongly supported the measure, saying it’s an essential first step to deal with the region’s exploding homeless crisis. A census earlier this year tallied 47,000 homeless countywide and 28,000 in the city of Los Angeles – both record figures. In downtown, Hollywood and other portions of the city, homeless encampments have blocked access to businesses and pose other threats, including tent fires.

Public policy and energy reporter Howard Fine can be reached at hfine@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.

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