LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Amid increasing concerns about the emerging trend of "van lords" who rent RVs to people experiencing homelessness, City Councilwoman Traci Park Wednesday announced she would be working on a plan to tighten regulations on RV sales and leasing in public rights-of-way.
"These practices capitalize on the vulnerability of our homeless community, reduce available parking and create significant life safety issues," Park said in a statement.
Park on Tuesday introduced a motion calling for an amendment to the city's municipal code, specifically Section 80.73.1, that prohibits reserving any street, parking space or other public space for business activities related to new and used vehicles. The municipal code does not explicitly cover RVs.
The proposed amendment would include RVs in the types of vehicles prohibited from conducting business in public rights-of-ways and affirm RV lessors' responsibility to adhere to California's health and safety, and vehicle, codes.
"The state codes are in place to ensure safety standards are met," Park said. "Our motion aims to close loopholes and identify necessary regulations."
In her motion, Park urges the council to direct the City Attorney's Office, the Bureau of Street Services and other necessary city departments to create a structure for fines.
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority's 2022 point-in-time count said approximately 6,500 individuals were living in 4,000 RVs across the city, a 40% increase since 2018. This group now comprises 22% of the city's total unsheltered homeless population.