LOS ANGELES—On Wednesday, November 9, the Los Angeles City Council approved a ban on sleeping in vehicles near homes, schools, and day care centers. If passed, the ordinance would make it only legal to sleep overnight in cars and RVs between the hours of 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. on residential streets in the City, which includes any street that joins one or more residential single or multifamily residences.
The ban would also apply to any street within 500 feet of any school, pre-school or day care facility or park. Between the hours of 2:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. the ban would apply to any street with a posted sign prohibiting overnight parking.
The ordinance is the second attempt since a 1983 measure that was deemed “unconstitutionally vague” after prohibiting vehicle dwelling. The measure was put in place to control the growth of homelessness in the city.
The ordinance would be looked at by the council again in July 2018 if the ordinance is signed into law. Los Angeles City Councilman, Mike Bonin told the Los Angeles Times earlier this year that the goal, “is to get most vehicles off the roads while the city helps more people move into housing.”
Attorneys and advocates of the homeless are against the ban, saying that it will be discriminatory if the ordinance is applied only to homeless people. Civil rights attorney, Carol Sobel told the LA Times, “There is a problem with putting people in jail for performing life-sustaining functions when there is no other place to do it.”
If the ordinance passes first time offenders will be subjected to a $25 fine, a $50 fine for a second offense, and a $75 fine for a third offense.
The ban comes a day after Los Angeles passed measure HHH which approved $1.2 billion in spending to build housing for the homeless. The plan would build 8,000 to 10,000 units of affordable housing for the homeless and those who are in danger of becoming homeless.
Written By Kamisha Lauture and Casey Jacobs