On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council will be considering a motion that would prohibit homeless encampments across the City of Los Angeles. The motion was proposed by LA City Councilman Joe Buscaino.
The proposal from Buscaino would require the City of Los Angeles to prioritize temporary shelter over permanent housing. The proposal would also prohibit homeless encampments if there is enough available shelter for the homeless.
Buscaino's motion was seconded by Councilman John Lee. If the proposal gets passed it would order the City Attorney to obtain the necessary documents to get the measure in the upcoming June 2022 primary election.
Below are the main actions of the proposal by Buscaino:
- "Create a citywide ordinance to prohibit camping in all public areas if shelter is available and offered."
- "Require the city to prioritize immediate emergency shelter over other options, like permanent supportive housing."
- "Provide the mayor with the authority to cut red tape and urgently build emergency homeless housing."
Kevin de Leon, who is the chair of the Homelessness and Poverty Committee commented and said that this ballot measure would be the "wrong approach". He told City News Service:
“Since the City Council is actively moving forward policies to address homeless encampments through strategic outreach and housing for people in need, a ballot measure seems the wrong approach. The fact is that a ballot measure would be extremely costly to taxpayers and would likely result in a continuation of the litigation merry-go-round that's kept the city from implementing real solutions,''
According to a pre-pandemic count, there are approximately over 66,000 homeless in Los Angeles County - 41,290 in Los Angeles alone.