A breakthrough agreement between the ACLU/SC and top L.A. leaders will create 1,250 new permanent low-income housing units for the city. ACLU/SC Executive Director Ramona Ripston said it offers "real hope" for an end to homelessness in L.A.
The new housing comes as part of the final settlement of Jones vs. City of L.A., a case brought by the ACLU/SC and the law firm of Carol Sobel to stop police from arresting homeless in L.A.'s Skid Row for sitting or sleeping on the streets when they had nowhere else to go. The 9th Circuit Court ruled in our favor in April 2006, stating that "involuntary sitting, lying, or sleeping on public sidewalks ... is an unavoidable consequence of being human and homeless without shelter in the City of Los Angeles."
L.A.'s law barring people from sitting or sleeping on the streets 24 hours a day is the nation's harshest, and the city agreed not to enforce it at night until the new housing is built, which will take several years.
In addition to the ACLU/SC and Sobel, the settlement was signed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and representatives of the City Council, City Attorney, and L.A. Police Department. "This is a good first step in what should be a major effort by our city to provide affordable housing for all its residents," said Ripston.