Head of LA Homeless Agency to Step Down

Rebekah Sager
December 02, 2019 - 4:58 pm
Margaret, who has been homeless since 2016, sits on the sidewalk in Skid Row on September 17, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

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The head of the LA agency charged with addressing homelessness is stepping down. 

At the end of the month, Peter Lynn will end his five-year run as executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority or LAHSA.

“Boy, these have felt like some long five years,” Lynn said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “I mean I have really enjoyed this, this role and this gig and I have also felt quite a lot of wear and tear from it.”

In a statement, Lynn, whose salary is $242,000 annually, said it has been a tremendous privilege. He took the helm of the city and county agency at a time when its responsibilities were expanding. During his tenure, voters approved two tax measures to increase funding to build housing & provide services to the homeless.

L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn says she also hopes the agency's next director will think outside the box.

Last year, the homeless population rose by 12% in the county and16% in the city.

“I totally appreciate and understand why he is making a decision to step down. It is a really challenging position to be in,” Stephanie Klasky-Gamer, president and chief executive of LA Family Housing, a services provider and homeless housing developer told The Times. “He’s never lost sight of the humanity of why we were doing our work.”

Lynn told The Times his decision was at least partially connected to a car accident in August that left him with a serious concussion.

A national search will be conducted to fill Lynn's position. Chief Program Officer Heidi Marston will fill in as interim director.