This week, I joined my colleagues on City Council in a unanimous vote to extend Los Angeles Municipal Code 85.02 which regulates vehicle dwelling within the City of Los Angeles.
Opponents of this action have misrepresented what this law does. Contrary to what critics say, LAMC 85.02 does not criminalize living out of a vehicle. What it does do is protect neighborhoods and communities by preventing vehicle dwelling in sensitive areas such as in residential communities and next to parks. Homelessness continues to be a crisis in our neighborhoods. There is still a lot that needs to be done to reduce the overall homeless population in Los Angeles including new housing and services to help those living on the streets get their lives back on track.
However, treating causes doesn't mean ignoring the impacts on neighborhoods. Vehicle dwelling leads to multiple public safety and health concerns which we neglect at our peril. My office's Neighborhoods FIRST initiative has become a model because it pairs services with enforcement . In so doing, we ensure communities are protected while unsheltered individuals can access the tools and services that will help them put their lives back on track.