Your guide to California's Senate District 35 race: South L.A. County

As California grapples with worsening homelessness, The Times asked candidates how they would respond to the crisis as a member of the state Legislature.

Williams said the issue is personal to her because she experienced homelessness as a child.

“Our district recently had the largest increase of homelessness in LA County, so we must invest in permanent housing with services, temporary housing to get people off the street, and increase affordable housing to prevent homelessness,” she said in response to a candidate survey conducted by The Times.

Spencer responded to the question with a pledge to appoint a state “homeless czar” to identify sustainable solutions to the crisis, echoing an unfulfilled campaign promise Gov. Gavin Newsom made in 2018.

Monteiro said he wants to support and enhance programs for the unhoused by “increasing funding for affordable housing and mental health services.”

Lyons said he would adopt a multi-pronged approach that would include conducting a triage of the problem and purchasing homes for transitional housing that would lead to permanent housing.

Chambers said she would play the long game by prioritizing the construction of affordable housing, “collaborating with other governmental agencies addressing zoning, public land use and barriers hindering building affordable housing.”

Affordable housing would also be part of a comprehensive strategy that Richardson says she would employ.

“Drawing on my housing expertise, I’d push for increased investments in affordable housing initiatives, fostering partnerships to expand the availability of affordable housing units,” she said.

Robles said he would prioritize helping those who are housed but at risk of losing their homes due to changes in their financial circumstances, in order to prevent more Californians from experiencing homelessness.

Michelin said he supports job training for a “hand up, not a handout,” as well as creating a state affordable housing trust fund and increasing mental health funding and coordination on state, local and federal homelessness reduction efforts.

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