It’s No Longer Illegal to Live in Your Car in Los Angeles

By Adrian Glick Kudler : la.curbed – excerpt

Rents are insane, housing supplies are short, and buying is one giant “pffffffft” noise going on forever, so housing options are housing options here in Los Angeles, and now finally the Ninth Circuit Court has struck down a law that made it illegal for people to live in their cars. The law had been on the books since 1983 but the city only started enforcing it in 2010 (with a 21-officer task force) when those notoriously complainy Venice residents started complaining about waste and trash on the streets, according to the Guardian. (In January, a group of Venetians finally dropped a years-long battle to kick cars and RVs off the streets overnight.) The ban forbid anyone from using a vehicle “as living quarters either overnight, day-by-day, or otherwise,” and officers all had different interpretations of what exactly that meant, so enforcement was selective; officers were arresting people just for having stuff in their car and even when they were parked in private parking lots. One of the four homeless people who sued to overturn a lower court’s decision upholding the ban had been pulled over in her RV for failing to use a turn signal but was cited instead for living in the vehicle. As one Ninth Circuit judge wrote, “[the ordinance] is 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.” That of course makes it potentially discriminatory and unconstitutional. The AP adds, via the judge’s opinion, that the ban “criminalizes innocent behavior.”… (more)