Los Angeles leaders announced Friday that a settlement agreement was reached with a lawsuit. It commits the city within five years to housing or sheltering thousands of homeless persons, but it is not clear how much.
The settlement also draws a sharp distinction between the city’s responsibilities and those of Los Angeles County, which operates the local public health system. Although the county was also involved in the lawsuit, it did not settle.
“The city has committed to building a minimum of 14,000 beds and has over 13,000 beds in the process already,”Nury Martinez, the President of City Council, addressed a City Hall Press Conference.
The city estimated that 14,000-16,000 units would cost between $2.4 billion-$3 billion.
The LA Alliance for Human Rights brought the lawsuit in 2020. This coalition includes residents, businesses, landlords, homeless persons, and other people who claim that the inaction of the county and city has created a dangerous atmosphere.
The homeless population was once largely confined to downtown LA’s notorious Skid Row, but encampments have spread widely, including within sight of City Hall.
Elizabeth Mitchell, an attorney for the alliance, stated that the settlement requires the city provide shelter on a “deadline-driven, judicially enforced”Schedule helps to get people off dangerous and unhealthy streets, and return public spaces to their intended use.
“But what the settlement does not do … is provide the necessary services and treatment to address this issue holistically,”Mitchell said.
Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, described homelessness as “a problem that affects all people.” “fire that is raging across Los Angeles”It is now time to extinguish the settlement, he said. He described the settlement as “a great success.” “an important infusion of momentum.”
The city’s actual housing commitment will be based on the 2022 point-in-time count of homeless people, which is still underway. Last year’s count was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There were over 66,400 homeless in Los Angeles County as of January 2020. 41,000 lived within LA City limits.
The city would provide shelter for 60% of those who are homeless, regardless of whether they have a serious mental or substance abuse disorder, chronic physical illness or severe mental illness.
Although the city does not have a health department, it claims that the county is required to provide housing and services for those with these problems. However, this is not true.
“What we need to do is call on the county to step up and do their part,” Martinez said.
Los Angeles County responded in a statement that repeated its assertion that the settlement only applies to LA’s Skid Row.
“As for the County, we remain steadfast in our focus on addressing homelessness as a regional crisis affecting people and communities in all of our 88 cities as well as in the unincorporated areas,”It was.
Los Angeles Community Action Network was an advocacy group for homeless people that was also involved in the case. It said it was not included in negotiations and denounced the settlement as a backroom deal.
“This settlement may be trumpeted as a win by Skid Row property owners and politicians who are looking no further than the next election, but it’s the same failed approach the city has been investing in for decades, and it’s a real loss for everyone else,”The group released a statement.
Los Angeles County stated that it has accommodated more than 75,000 residents since 2017 when voters approved a sales tax hike. It also said that shelter capacity has increased by 60% over the three years.
The report also stated that $1 billion was set to be spent on programs to house more people and provide mental health services.
“The (county) Board of Supervisors is fully committed to continuing and expanding this massive mobilization to create lasting solutions to this humanitarian crisis,”It was.
The alliance stated that the settlement covers all of Los Angeles and not just Skid Row. It will continue to sue the county.
The settlement agreement must be approved by U.S. District Judge David O. Carter who is currently overseeing the case.
Carter issued an order last summer requiring that the county and city offer shelter to all Skid Row residents who are not currently housed within six months.
Appeal court vacated the order arguing that plaintiffs didn’t have standing to bring any claims. The alliance filed an amended lawsuit.