Author: Nicole

Rick Caruso’s Column on Homelessness

Rick Caruso’s Column on Homelessness

Editorial: A fact check on Rick Caruso’s magical thinking about L.A. homelessness

In his daily column for the Post, columnist Rick Caruso continues his trend of attacking homelessness in L.A. with his usual “fact check” approach. Caruso’s column is nothing more than a string of assertions, most of which are not true. His first assertion, that there have been no housing shortages, is simply wrong:

Los Angeles has been facing a problem of housing supply and demand for decades while being blessed with one of the world’s richest housing markets. A housing shortage doesn’t mean demand is going to stay the same, or that supply won’t skyrocket.

True, there was a housing shortage in the 1990s, but that was before the boom in apartment buildings, which is what Caruso is referring to when he says “a housing shortage doesn’t mean demand is going to stay the same.” The housing boom, which was characterized by apartment buildings, was followed by the housing bust, which was characterized by more and more people living alone in their cars. The question is: Why are so many people ending up homeless in L.A.?

Caruso bases his second assertion about homelessness on the premise that the problem in L.A. with homeless people on the streets is, well, a fact. But the data that he says proves this are nothing more than anecdotes.

The story, the first part of which was published by The Times in June, is that a homeless man “washes his car out in downtown L.A. and returns to the L.A. River, where he swims and then dries off in the sun.” While this may be an interesting story for someone to tell, it is not factually based.

The second part of the story begins with a man who was in a coma for about nine months and is now using his bed as a tent to sleep outside in the rain.

The third part of the story, which Caruso doesn’t bother to fact check, says:

“What’s so surprising is the amount of homelessness in L.A. is not limited to the homeless who are down on the streets. In fact, the percentage of people receiving shelter each night has dropped by about 10 percent over the past decade.”

While that

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