Judge orders city, county to house Skid Row residents by fall
Ruling says Los Angeles must extend offers after neglecting temporary housing
A federal judge ordered the city of Los Angeles and L.A. County to offer housing to everyone living unsheltered in Skid Row by this fall, the latest.
Judge David O. Carter’s directive stems from a lawsuit filed a year ago by downtown residents and business owners, according to the L.A. Times.
Carter granted their request for a preliminary injunction compelling the city and county to offer housing to single women and unaccompanied children within 90 days, families within 120 days, and everyone else by Oct. 18, according to the L.A. Times.
It’s a tall order for the city and county, which have struggled for years to get people housed. But they have had some success recently with the federally funded Project Roomkey and Project Homekey programs.
Carter said in focusing on developing permanent housing, the city and county neglected to provide temporary shelter beds, “knowing that massive development delays were likely while people died in the streets.”
He also ordered the city to put $1 billion into an escrow account and for the city and county to offer support services to anyone who accepts the housing. Carter said he would only allow the city to enforce sidewalk-clearing policies — which have been controversial — “after adequate shelter is offered.”
The city and county may appeal the decision. The county previously sought to remove itself from the suit.
The plaintiffs, collectively calling themselves the L.A. Alliance for Human Rights, specifically sought Carter to preside over the case. Carter has handled similar cases in Orange County.
Carter toured Skid Row in April and tried to use six recently-installed hand-washing stations meant to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, but none worked. He then brought lawyers for the city and county there to see for themselves.
[LAT] — Dennis Lynch