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LA will let people living in cars clear parking tickets with community service

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In the city, about 7,000 people live in cars

An RV parked in an industrial area. Britta Gustafson/Curbed LA flickr pool

The Los Angeles City Council voted today to give people living in cars the option to do community service in lieu of paying parking tickets, reports CBS LA.

The community service hours required are intended to be reasonable, as “many homeless are working despite their transitory living situation and can only perform a limited number of hours without jeopardizing their employment,” according to a November 2016 report from the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.

The report suggests that to clear fines ranging from $25 to $250, four hours of community service would have to be performed.

Across the city, about 7,000 people live in cars, RVs, and other vehicles, according to the Angeles Homeless Services Authority. The city also has data showing that roughly 3,900 vehicles were used as residences in 2016.

But it’s not known yet exactly how many people the new program will affect. LADOT doesn’t have stats on the number of homeless people who are handed parking citations. The agency does expect that initially the number of applications will be high, “since this program is highly anticipated.”

This month, the city began enforcing a new law strictly regulating where and when people who live in their vehicles can park.

The program offering the community service option is expected to be up and running in the next two weeks, a rep for City Councilmember Mike Bonin told Curbed. Bonin, along with Councilmember David Ryu, introduced a motion to get the program started.

San Francisco and San Diego offer similar programs for their homeless residents.