Homeless individuals in California built a house featuring a garden, rock walls, a hammock, potted plants, decorative string lights, a barbecue grill, and functional electricity on a strip of land nestled between a bustling freeway and the seasonal Arroyo Seco “dry river” in Los Angeles.

Homeless Encampments On The Rise

According to the local news station KTLA, the number of encampments constructed above the Arroyo Seco has grown in recent years amid a homelessness crisis affecting 46,000 residents of Los Angeles.

Source: KTLA 5

The individuals residing in the makeshift home on the edge of the 110 freeway declined to talk to the station. The neighbors living in the area offered mixed reactions.

What Nearby Residents Have To Say

One person who lives nearby said in Spanish, “They don’t bother me.” The person added that the majority of encampment’s inhabitants prefer to keep to themselves.

Source: KTLA 5

Another neighbor Mike Ancheta, who was passing by on his bike, said he “admired” the work done by the homeless people but emphasized that the shelter shouldn’t be located there.

The House Doesn’t “Belong” There

Ancheta said to KTLA, “This doesn’t belong here. This is public property.”

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Ancheta added, “But this is not what it’s supposed to be used for. This is dangerous. As you can see, someone is cooking out there, an open fire. They are stealing electricity. I mean, come on.”

Fire Extinguishers

The individuals inhabiting the encampment seem to have taken fire safety into consideration.

Source: Pexels

Photos of the encampment reveal that the place does have two fire extinguishers located in the “yard.”

Some Neighbors Are Very Unhappy

Enrique Rodriguez is not very happy to have the homeless people as neighbors. Rodriguez said, “It sucks that some of these people are here.”

Source: Pexels/Jonathan Meyer

Rodriguez added, “I do wish better for those people. [But] I cannot be sorry for the mistakes that they made.”

Another Neighbor Blamed Rental Costs

Another nearby resident blamed the steep rental costs of Los Angeles for this issue.

Source: Pexels/Giovanni Calia

Ulysses Chavez said to the local station, “It’s messed up. They should lower rent. They should lower all kinds of stuff, especially in LA.”

Impressive Structure

KTLA reported that the house built by the homeless individuals looks quite remarkable and is also seemingly robust.

Source: KTLA 5

The home stands apart from the dozens of makeshift shelters, tarps, and tents erected by homeless individuals along the drainage basin.

Mayor’s Appeal To The Wealthy

The Daily Mal reported that in recent footage Democratic Mayor Karen Bass can be seen appealing to Los Angeles’ wealthy residents and celebrities to finance “affordable” long-term housing solutions for the city’s 46,000 homeless individuals.

Source: Flickr/Karen Bass

During her State of the City address on Monday, Mayor Bass urged the “most fortunate” to come forward and support her campaign, LA4LA that aims to have wealthy residents assist in accelerating efforts to purchase homes for homeless individuals.

Asking For More Philanthropy

Bass said, “Right now, we’re working to move past nightly rentals.”

Source: AdobeStock/Dollar Visuals

Bass added, “We are asking the most fortunate Angelinos to participate in this effort, with personal, private sector and philanthropic funds – to help us acquire more properties, lower the cost of capital and speed up housing.”

Lack Of Emphasis On Clearing Up Homeless Encampments

Rather than emphasizing on cleaning up homeless encampments, Bass announced the latest initiative LA4LA that urges affluent individuals to contribute to manage the city’s rapidly escalating homelessness crisis.

Source: Pexels/Ahmed akacha

The controversial mansion tax has been introduced which imposes a 4% levy on every single home valued over $5 million. It is aimed at generating funds for preventing homelessness.

Economic Impact

The mansion tax has faced a lot of criticism, especially since sales of luxury homes have gone down and wealthy individuals have found ways to avoid the policy. This has resulted in almost $700 million less revenue than what was forecasted.

Source: Pexels

In addition to the 4% tax on properties valued at over $5 million, mega mansions surpassing the $10 million valuation, homeowners forfeit 5.5% of the total sale price if they choose to sell their estate.

Decline In Sales Of High-End Homes

Due to the taxation policies, there has been a staggering 70% decline in sales of high-end homes. On Monday, Bass reiterated that she believes it was the responsibility of the wealthy to contribute to solving the city’s homelessness issues, which she characterized as a “disaster.”

Source: Pexels

While imploring the wealthy, Bass stated, “If they’re giving all that they have, we just hope that those that have an abundance of money would contribute. That would help us tremendously.”

Bass Believes The Private Sector Must Contribute To Solve Homelessness

Bass said, “We must prevail on the humanity and generosity of the private sector.”

Source: Pexels/Pixabay

Bass added, “LA4LA can be a sea change for Los Angles, an unprecedented partnership to confront this emergency, an example of disrupting the status quo to build a new system to save lives.”

Bass Believes LA4LA Will Turn Out To Be Very Helpful

During the address, Bass said, “LA4LA can be a Sea Change for Los Angeles — an unprecedented partnership to confront this emergency. An example of disrupting the status quo to build a new system to save lives.”

Source: Pexels/mart production

The city aims to invest the capital that is raised to address the challenges based by homeless individuals. The goal is to alleviate the enormous financial strain of “thousands and thousands of fire, paramedic and police calls.” Bass also highlighted the opportunity cost of the homelessness crisis, including reduced tourism in Los Angeles and businesses relocating from downtown to other areas.