Los Angeles finds loophole in court ruling: Ban homeless people living in cars — but only at night
The city of Los Angeles is hoping to get around a federal court ruling that struck down a ban on homeless people living in cars by specifying that the ordinance only applies to evening hours when they would be sleeping.
Last year, a federal appeals court struck down the city’s ban on living in vehicles, saying that it was “broad and cryptic” and it was only being applied to homeless people.
According to KPCC, the city has two different proposals that it hopes will pass constitutional muster. One amendment provides a narrower definition of “living in a vehicle” that prevents parking between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. And the second proposal would provide a limited number of “permits” to homeless people, allowing them to park in designated non-residential areas.
City Atty. Mike Feuer has called the new amendments a “novel approach” that would “strive to meet the City Council’s goal to protect neighborhoods in a manner that is sensitive to the needs of the homeless.”
“The city has continued to take these draconian measures and focusing solely on law enforcement rather than providing solutions to the problem,” Venice Community Housing Corporation Executive Director Steve Clare told KPCC. “Just in Venice itself, the city has over 1,900 city-owned lots, in Venice. There are over 900 that are right down on Venice Beach. We could easily accommodate all of the people that are in our community in vehicles in comfortable locations.”
“The city just need to take a more proactive stance in terms of trying to solve a problem, address a concern rather than trying to suppress it and just cite people and put push them from one neighborhood to another.”