Enforcement of new regulations targeting homeless people who live in their vehicles will start today, reports KPCC. The new rules dictate where people living in RVs and cars can park. For example, parking “for habitation purposes” on residential streets from 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. is now banned.
And, living in a vehicle is prohibited at all times within one block, or 500 feet, of schools, pre-schools, daycare facilities, and parks.
Results from the 2016 homeless count found more than 7,000 people live in their cars in Los Angeles, says KPCC.
City officials tell KPCC that the new rules are geared toward helping car- and RV-dwellers find appropriate places to post up. Mayor Eric Garretti's homelessness policy director, Alisa Orduna, says the new rules will help service providers connect with people who are living in cars, so that they can offer them vouchers for housing and motel stays.
But homeless advocates argue the new rules basically constitute a “ban” on living in vehicles, and note that the rules would not apply if the people who reside in cars and RVs were to simply exit their vehicles and sleep in tents on the street.
The new restrictions are valid until July 2018, at which point city officials will evaluate how effective they’ve been.
This is the city’s second attempt to control car- and RV-dwellers. The previous attempt was shot down in a federal appeals court in 2014. The issue with that ordinance was that it was “broad enough to cover any driver in Los Angeles who eats food or transports personal belongings in his or her vehicle. Yet it appears to be applied only to the homeless," as one judge wrote in his opinion.