“This ever-worsening public health and safety emergency demands immediate, life-saving action. The City and County of Los Angeles have shown themselves to be unable or unwilling to devise effective solutions to L.A.’s homelessness crisis,” U.S. District Judge David Carter wrote in a 110-page brief.
While accusing government officials of dragging their feet on taking proper action, Carter mandated that Los Angeles city and county offer shelter or housing to all single women and accompanied children within 90 days. Officials also have 120 days to provide accommodations for all families and 180 days for the general population.
Carter further ordered Los Angeles county and city officials to identify land or properties by October that may be developed for 455,000 new units of housing, including 185,000 units for lower-income tenants. A special monitor, whom the city and county will pay for, should also assist in and resolve any disputes. $1 billion will also be placed in an escrow account to fund the operations.
At last count, in January 2020, more than 4,662 unhoused people were determined to be living in Skid Row. About 2,500 were residing in large shelters and 2,093 were living on the streets, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority reported.
“Los Angeles has lost its parks, beaches, schools, sidewalks, and highway systems due to the inaction of City and County officials who have left our homeless citizens with no other place to turn,” Carter wrote. “All of the rhetoric, promises, plans, and budgeting cannot obscure the shameful reality of this crisis — that year after year, there are more homeless Angelenos, and year after year, more homeless Angelenos die on the streets.”
“Black Angelenos are vastly overrepresented in the homeless population. From 2016 to 2017, the city saw a 22% increase in the number of unhoused Black Angelenos,” Carter wrote. “Yet, in the same period, the number of white Angelenos experiencing homelessness decreased by 7%. Further, racism in Los Angeles is far from simply black and white — Latinos make up at least 35% of the homeless population, a figure that likely undercounts the number of Latinos homeless.”
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