Malibu City Council to Appoint Members of New Homelessness Task Force During Special Virtual Meeting Wednesday, July 21
All community members are encouraged to participate in a special virtual City Council meeting about efforts to address homelessness in Malibu on Wednesday, July 21 at 5:00 PM. During the meeting, the City Council will each appoint two members to a new Homelessness Task Force.
The Council will also discuss proposed amendments to the City’s Nuisance Code aimed at addressing the alarming wave of brush fires that have started in homeless encampments in Malibu. This year alone, 17 fires have started in homeless encampments in Malibu.
“As in so many communities across America, homelessness in Malibu has emerged as a humanitarian crisis with severe impacts to the community’s public health and safety, the environment, and quality of life that cannot be ignored,” said Mayor Paul Grisanti. “I encourage everyone in Malibu to participate in this meeting, ask questions, and share ideas and concerns.”
Although the City already has a Homelessness Working Group, the City Council aims to focus more effort, resources, and attention on addressing homelessness by creating a Brown Act-governed Homelessness Task Force. The Brown Act requires open meetings and public recordkeeping by government bodies in California to ensure transparency and accountability.
The Task Force will be charged with reviewing existing efforts, evaluating the need for an alternative sleeping location (ASL), developing strategies to mitigate the fire safety concerns of encampments located in open space and on undeveloped private property, addressing other issues related to homelessness, and providing regular updates and recommendations to the City Council.
The City Council will also review proposed amendments to the City’s Nuisance Code aimed at strengthening the City’s ability to hold private property owners responsible for unabated nuisances on their property, particularly homeless encampments that have been tied to a brush fire or are at high risk of starting a fire.
The City’s current definition of a nuisance lacks enough detail to be clear to property owners what a nuisance is. Proposed amendments include language specific to fire and public health hazards. In addition, the current code does not include a functional Summary (immediate) Abatement procedure. Summary Abatements are used when the nuisance creates an emergency condition involving an immediate threat to the physical safety of the population. The current code requires the City Council to approve a Summary Abatement, which significantly impacts the speed at which an “emergency condition” can be addressed. Most other cities delegate this authority to their city manager or a department head.
The agenda, staff report, and viewing and commenting instructions for the July 21 meeting are posted on the website.
The community can review documents on the website about the City’s past and ongoing work to address homelessness, including the City’s Homelessness Working Group, which helped develop the City’s Homeless Strategic Plan, community survey results, outreach efforts, and agendas and minutes from public meetings.
In response to a growing homeless population in Malibu, the City has been increasing its measures to address homelessness and its impacts on the community for the last several years, including the development of a strategic plan, increased participation in events to aid the homeless, and the formation of the Working Group to strengthen cooperation between the various agencies and organizations providing assistance within the community.
Since 2018, the City has been funding an Outreach Team through the People’s Concern who work full-time in Malibu and can connect homeless people in Malibu with the People Concern’s housing, mental healthcare and other services. The City also funds a Housing Navigator, who works with the Outreach Team and landlords to help people experiencing homelessness get off the streets and into housing.
In October 2017, the City received Measure H funding from the County of Los Angeles to develop its Homelessness Strategic Plan, which was adopted by the City Council on June 25, 2018. The Plan is available to view on the City website. To see all of the City’s work addressing homelessness in the community, visit the webpage.