LA approves temporary ban on homeless living in cars in residential areas

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BySid Garcia via KABC logo
Thursday, November 24, 2016
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A ban preventing homeless from parking overnight in residential neighborhoods was approved by the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday.

MISSION HILLS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles City Council approved a new restriction preventing homeless overnight parking in residential neighborhoods on Tuesday.

The decision came after months of hearings and public input as the city council voted 10-1 in favor for the temporary ban.

"This is a framework we think that's going to be a lot more manageable, a lot more specific and easier to enforce, and it's going to let the folks who want to park, let them know where they can do it legally and safely," L.A. City Councilman Curren Price said.

The ordinance will end after about 18 months.

The ban follows the approved $1.2 billion initiative to pay for homeless housing. Councilman Mitchell Englander, the only no vote for the ban, believed the initiative stands as a better long-term solution.

"The biggest thing is all you're doing is moving the problem. People living in their car and saying you can't be in a residential community, but you can be in a commercial community, that doesn't make sense," Englander said.

"What we really need to do is build housing, have wrap around services for those folks and help them. These are a lot of families, these aren't just individuals that are living in cars," he continued.

Juan Lopez told Eyewitness News he has been living on the streets of the San Fernando Valley in his RV for two years. He lives below an overpass in Mission Hills but understands that he will have to move.

Lopez shared that he and his homeless neighbors do what they can to keep their area clean and safe for everyone.

Mission Hills resident Audra Rice supports the city council's actions for a variety of reasons.

"It's gotten really bad especially down Sepulveda. I mean just people living in cars, on the streets. There's (nowhere) for them to go, so it's kind of rough," Rice said. "I mean I can understand, but yeah in commercial areas, yeah I can see that being a positive thing."

The ordinance goes into effect in a month, shortly before Christmas.

City News Service contributed to this report.