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LETTERS -- MIT Economics Professor Gives Council Candidates Homeless Numbers Test

October 17, 2018

Dear Editor,

On October 16 you asked the candidates for City Council to discuss “What Can be Done about Homelessness” ("City Council Candidates Discuss What to Do About Homelessness," October 16, 2018).

I note there was a complete absence of facts in each answer by the
candidates. I would be interested in the candidates’ answers to two sets of facts:

(1) In the 2018 homeless count increased in Santa Monica by 3.9%. It decreased in Venice by -18.4% and it decreased in LA County by -3.4%. The differences are all statistically significant. What will the candidates do to reverse this disparity?

(2) For some “comparison” cities homelessness per capita is: Santa Monica 1.03%, Pacific Palisades 0.42%, Marina Del Rey 0.14%, Manhattan Beach 0.11%, while Venice is higher at 2.38%. Non-beach comparable cities are: Brentwood 0.06%, and Beverly Hills 0.25%.

My question is: “Why does Santa Monica have such a higher proportion of homeless than comparable cities and LA County as a whole.”

Further, “What is city government going to do to eliminate the very significant greater amount of homeless in Santa Monica?”

Jerry Hausman
Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica
Professor of Economics, MIT


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