Few from Echo Park Lake encampment removal in permanent housing, report claims

A year after authorities removed a homeless encampment in Echo Park Lake, resulting in 179 arrests, including some members of the press, few residents from the encampment have been housed while many remain on a waiting list, according to a study published Wednesday by the UCLA Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy.

Researchers analyzed data from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and found that of the 183 people who were on the “Echo Park Lake placements list,” only 17 were placed in some form of long-term housing, including subsidized rentals and permanent supportive housing. As of last month, researchers said more than 40 were on a waiting list for short-term housing, such as through Project Roomkey, while 15 had returned to living in the streets and six had died. Additionally, researchers found that the homeless agency had lost communication with about 82 people.

The report, authored by the After Echo Park Lake Research Collective and the data team at the Luskin Institute, comes at a time when city officials have vocalized the success of clearing encampments while placing people in short-term housing that will eventually lead to permanent housing, a claim that was also made ahead of the removal of the Echo Park Lake encampment.

It also comes following a mayoral debate in which candidates said they would increase shelter and short-term housing while clearing encampments in the city.

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