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Here's how much Los Angeles is spending to house the homeless — each unit costs more than buying a home

"This kind of cost is utterly unacceptable..."

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

A government program in Los Angeles aims to house the homeless by building apartments, and the cost has now exceeded simply buying a home at the median price in L.A. County.

According to the city controller's office, Los Angeles is completing a project to provide 72 new apartments in the middle of Koreatown, and each unit is costing the taxpayer about $690,000.

That is far more than the median price of a home in Los Angeles County, which is $618,000.

"This kind of cost is utterly unacceptable," said L.A. Controller Ron Galperin. "I believe we need a fundamental course correction."

Los Angeles is grappling with a worsening homeless crisis that threatens to endanger the health of its residents. Homeless encampments riddle the city, adding to garbage and vermin infestation woes.

Some experts are predicting that the city will face a disease epidemic if actions aren't taken to change the conditions from the crisis.

Despite a report in June that there were at least 59,000 homeless persons in Los Angeles County, the very expensive apartment program will only provide 71 units. Another two projects with equally expensive price tags are planned.

A spokesperson for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti denied the criticism that taxpayer money was being used unwisely.

"Mayor Garcetti is leveraging every available dollar – as efficiently as possible – to confront our region's homelessness and affordability crisis," said Alex Comisar, the mayor's spokesman.

"Mayor Garcetti recognizes the immediacy of this crisis," he added, "and is working with a diverse coalition of partners to find innovative solutions that can be scaled up quickly."

Garcetti is facing a recall effort from L.A. residents who are sick of the homeless problem.

Here's more about California's homeless crisis:

Is California left with no solution for the homeless crisis? www.youtube.com

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