Legislation

Law limiting possessions by homeless in Los Angeles is OK'd in first of two votes

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • Print.

The Los Angeles City Council has tentatively approved a law that limits homeless people’s possessions on city sidewalks to whatever can be placed in a 60-gallon container.

The 13-1 vote comes as Los Angeles deals with a 20 percent increase in homeless population in the last two years, the Los Angeles Times reports. The new law replaces a bill passed last June and later suspended that limited homeless possessions to items that could be carried in a backpack. The prior law allowed enforcement as long as the city provided storage for other belongings.

The council will vote a second time on the ordinance because the first vote was not unanimous, according to the Los Angeles Daily Journal.

The new law authorizes the city to impound “excess personal property” that can’t fit in a 60-gallon container—about the size of a city trash bin—after 24 hours’ notice. The items could be reclaimed within 90 days, but they can’t be moved to a different area to avoid another seizure.

The city can also impound tents that aren’t taken down between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. when the temperature is at or above 50 degrees.

Related articles:

ABA Journal: “Cities get mired in civil rights disputes in trying to deal with growing homeless populations”

ABAJournal.com: “LA is rewriting law banning living in cars, after 9th Circuit rejected original ordinance”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.