On Wednesday, the Los Angeles City Council voted in favor of calling out the hotels that refuse to take in homeless people amid the coronavirus pandemic. They even noted that these hotels could be "commandeered" for not cooperating.
The city council had previously said their goal was to house 15,000 through what they are calling 'Project Roomkey'... So far, only about 1,582 homeless people have been placed in hotels.
"Each hotel brings new hope, each room could save a life," Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
However, some hotels are still not willing to take in the homeless. The Ritz Carlton in downtown Los Angeles is one hotel that is currently resisting these orders, despite having received millions of dollars in tax breaks from the city.
“If hotels are making a distinction among people classifying housed and unhoused differently in terms of accommodations that they’re going to be repaid for, that the city and county will pay for with reimbursements, then I think there’s a potential civil rights violation,” Councilman Mike Bonin said. “If the problems are on the hotel end, the public should know why, and then we should consider commandeering as they’ve talked about in other cities.”
So now the city council plans to investigate.
“It would seem to me to be a complete justification that we expect something back especially during an emergency,” Councilman Mitch O’Farrel said of hotels that have received tax breaks, yet are still refusing to cooperate with taking in the homeless community.
High end hotels like the Ritz Carlton are trying to avoid being rebranded as "homeless hotels," but Mike Bonin says he doesn't think "fancy hotels" should be treated any differently. "As we look to hotels to step up, those that have benefited from public investment and public largess - those are the first that we should be looking towards," he said.
Read the full report on Fox News.