by Fred Shuster City News Service
A federal judge on Tuesday, June 14 gave final approval to a proposed settlement with the LA Alliance for Human Rights of Los Angeles, in which the city would pay $16,000 to develop 16,000-bed or housing units for the non-mentally ill. 3 billion will be spent. members of the homeless population.
US District Judge David Carter wrote that the parties requested that the court retain jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the settlement agreement for a period of five years. The agreement is “fair, fair and adequate”, he said.
“The settlement before the court was not achieved hastily – it was the result of lengthy and deliberate goodwill negotiations,” the judge wrote.
Carter said that the agreement “creates a structure and enforcement mechanism for the city to build a sufficient number of new beds for people experiencing homelessness. While the agreement is not a solution to homelessness, it will improve the lives of our neighbors.” A concrete step towards improving those who are currently suffering on the roads.”
The Los Angeles City Council voted 12-3 last month to approve the agreement.
Carter is overseeing a March 2020 lawsuit in which the LA Alliance—a coalition of downtown business owners and shelter and shelterless residents—accuses the city and county of Los Angeles of failing to do its part in addressing the homelessness crisis.
Co-defendant Los Angeles County did not participate in the settlement and has scheduled closed-door arbitration sessions in efforts to resolve its part of the suit.
Carter said in a hearing last week that in the two years the case is pending, he has seen efforts by the parties to address the homelessness problem not only in the Skid Row area but throughout the city and county.
Now “there are increasing efforts to get hundreds, not thousands, of people off the streets,” Carter said.
While the settlement does not include Los Angeles County, city officials said the county should be responsible for providing services and housing for homeless individuals with serious mental illness, substance abuse issues or chronic physical illnesses.
According to the most recent homelessness count, conducted before the pandemic in 2020, the nationwide homeless population stood at 66,433, a nearly 13% increase from the previous year. Los Angeles’ homeless population was 36,165, up 14% from the previous year.
Out-of-county attorney Skip Miller has said that the county “does much more than do its job and do everything possible without stigmatizing homelessness as a crime. Any claim that the county has failed on this obligation is completely unfounded.” is baseless.”
Shayla Myers of the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles — an interventionist in the case — recently objected to the proposed settlement, saying the city’s real goal was to enforce anti-camping laws to strengthen the homeless on the streets.