Project Roomkey has locked out most vulnerable, advocates charge

Statewide program meant to slow spread of Covid by housing homeless in hotels has discriminated against the disabled, advocacy groups charged in a letter to LA officials

Los Angeles /
Aug.August 17, 2020 11:00 AM
Heidi Marston, Executive Director of LAHSA
Heidi Marston, Executive Director of LAHSA

The state’s Project Roomkey was designed to house elderly, vulnerable and homeless people in hotels to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

But housing advocates are now accusing the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority of discrimination, saying the agency locked out disabled people from the program, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In a letter to the Homeless Services Authority, advocates said the agency deliberately excluded people who needed assistance with basic activities such as using the bathroom and getting out of bed, according to the Times. The letter — numerous city and county officials received copies — said the action violated the Americans with Disabilities Act and the federal Fair Housing Act, among other laws.

“We have heard from many service providers that they have been unable to obtain [Project Roomkey] approval for their clients who are older individuals with a range of disabilities,” according to the letter, which was signed by Los Angeles Aging Advocacy Coalition and Justice in Aging among other groups.

L.A. County’s Project Roomkey program has leased 4,000 rooms and about 90 percent are occupied.

The letter does not threaten legal action, and the groups that signed it are scheduled to meet with representatives for the city on Tuesday. Heidi Marston, executive director of LAHSA, said she would not answer questions before the meeting. But in a statement said, she said the agency is “committed to providing needed services to the many people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County, a population with complex needs, in an environment of limited resources.” [LAT]Dennis Lynch


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Grove owner Rick Caruso and Craig Realty’s Steven Craig with the Citadel Outlets and The Grove (Getty, Google Maps)

LA County cited 150 businesses for Covid violations since Black Friday, including 6 malls

LA County cited 150 businesses for Covid violations since Black Friday, including 6 malls
Clockwise from top left: 457-459 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills; 7500-7516 W. Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood; 6100 Canoga Avenue, Warner Center; and Long Beach Marketplace, Long Beach (Google Maps)

Here are LA County’s biggest retail deals of 2020

Here are LA County’s biggest retail deals of 2020
Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed more than half a billion dollars to help small businesses statewide. (Getty)

Newsom targets small businesses in $4.5B stimulus plan

Newsom targets small businesses in $4.5B stimulus plan
Photo illustration by The Real Deal (iStock)

LA extends eviction moratorium as Covid cases surge

LA extends eviction moratorium as Covid cases surge
Westend Bar (Photo via Google Maps)

Costa Mesa bar owner faces criminal charges for Covid violations

Costa Mesa bar owner faces criminal charges for Covid violations
Photo illustration of Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Holiday Inn in Long Beach (Getty, Google Maps)

California spent $850M on inns for homeless

California spent $850M on inns for homeless
Gov. Gavin Newsom extended stay-at-home orders across most of the state, maintaining A ban on outdoor dining and strict limits on in-store capacity. (Getty)

Stay-at-home order extended as retailers struggle to stay afloat

Stay-at-home order extended as retailers struggle to stay afloat
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order to stem the spread of Covid-19 has effectively shuttered outdoor dining for nearly all restaurants in California (Getty, Google Maps)

LA restaurant owner sues Newsom to stop statewide outdoor dining ban

LA restaurant owner sues Newsom to stop statewide outdoor dining ban
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...