NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


October 12, 2007

Los Angeles City officials agreed recently not to enforce an ordinance used to bolster police sweeps of homeless people sleeping on sidewalks until more low-cost housing is built, says the New York Times.

The move is garnering much attention, given the city's large homeless population.  According to figures released by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and reported by Agence France Presse:

  • Los Angeles remains the United States homeless capital with 40,144 people living on the streets of the city out of a population of around four million.
  • Across the entire region of Los Angeles county, which has a population of around 10 million, there were 73,000 homeless.
  • Among the 73,000 homeless, 10,000 were minors, 24,505 suffered from a mental illness, 8,453 were military veterans and nearly 7,200 were victims of domestic abuse.

The policy will remain in effect until Los Angeles builds 1,250 units of low-cost housing with services for homeless people, with half of the units in and around the downtown area, says the Times.

City Council president, Eric Garcetti, said he expected it would take at least three years to meet the target, at a cost of $125 million.  Garcetti said he expected the city to finance at least half of that, with nonprofit organizations and developers footing the rest of the bill.

Sources: Randal C. Archibold, "Los Angeles to Permit Sleeping on Sidewalks," New York Times, October 11, 2007; and "Los Angeles remains US homeless capital," Agence France Presse, October 12, 2007.

For N.Y. Times text:

For AFP text: 


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