Los Angeles wants a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit that would compel it to house thousands of the city’s homeless.
Lawyers for L.A. argue the suit asks the court to “intrude into the city’s handling of complex policy issues that should be addressed by the elected city leaders, not the court,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
The lawsuit was filed last spring by the L.A. Alliance for Human Rights, naming the city and county as defendants. It alleges both entities allowed encampments to persist in certain areas, including Skid Row and under Interstate 405.
The suit also contends the city’s $1.2 billion bond program meant to build hundreds of housing units for the homeless has been “wasted.” It alleges the Prop HHH funding focused on permanent housing instead of temporary housing, as it should have. Last September, City Controller Ron Galperin released an audit that found just three housing projects — 228 total units — had been completed in the four years since Proposition HHH passed with the overwhelming support of voters.
Responding to the L.A. Alliance suit, the city claims the organization failed to prove any of its claims. A hearing on the motion to dismiss is scheduled for Aug. 9.
Meanwhile, the homeless problem in L.A. is among the worst in the country. Before the pandemic, the city of L.A’s homeless count stood at 41,000 and and countywide, that figure was about 67,000.
In April, federal court Judge David O. Carter granted a preliminary injunction that compelled the city and county to house all its Skid Row homeless by Oct. 18. An appeals later paused that order and a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to hear arguments next month.
[LAT] — Dennis Lynch