NIMBYs doing everything they can to stop homeless from taking shelter in their communities

Lawsuits and political efforts to stop hotel rentals have cropped up across Southern California

Los Angeles /
Apr.April 23, 2020 12:00 PM
A homeless tent encampment in Skid Row (Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)
A homeless tent encampment in Skid Row (Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Pandemic or not, some communities around Southern California simply don’t want homeless people housed in their neighborhoods.

Southern California counties and cities have leased thousands of vacant hotel rooms in recent weeks to temporarily house homeless Angelenos vulnerable to coronavirus. Despite hopes the practice could help struggling hotel owners, they’re getting stiff pushback from local authorities and community members, according to the L.A. Times.

Earlier this month L.A. County leased a hotel in the South Bay city of Lawndale. Shortly after, city officials told the hotel owner they’d call a hearing to revoke the hotel’s operating permit if the county didn’t immediately break the lease.

It took a judge’s ruling to allow Orange County officials to move ahead with their rental of a 76-room hotel in the city of Laguna Hills. City officials and neighboring property owners quickly sued to stop the measure, claiming it put neighbors at risk.

Meanwhile, the San Bernardino City Council is fighting San Bernardino County’s lease of a 50-room hotel there, claiming the city is being singled out.

“We aren’t the dumping ground,” Councilmember Bessine Richard said at a recent meeting.

Private residents are taking on the fight themselves in some cases. Susie Forte Gilman, a Pacific Palisades resident, sued to stop the city of L.A. from moving people into the Palisades Recreation Center on the grounds it would create a public nuisance.

More than 1,000 Cheviot Hills residents signed a petition sent to Mayor Eric Garcetti expressing concern about the use of mobile homes in a parking lot of a property being used as a temporary shelter. [LAT]Dennis Lynch


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