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LA City Council Seeks City-Wide Rehousing Strategy for RV Homeless

Two separate motions passed aimed to reduce recreational vehicle homelessness throughout Los Angeles

Los Angeles City Council has taken steps to address the issue of recreational vehicle (RV) homelessness in the city. Two motions were unanimously approved on Wednesday intended to reduce RV homelessness throughout the city. 

The first motion was presented by Councilwoman Nithya Raman, which directed various city departments to develop a comprehensive city-wide rehousing strategy for people experiencing RV homelessness. 

“One thing I really appreciate about this report is that it gives a big number, $141 million, that we need in order to build out some of these broader solutions like buy-back programs for decrepit RVs, storage programs for RVs that people want to store, setting up safe parking that actually accommodates our RVs, which would include 24-hour parking and potentially having the ability for people to plug in and connect to sewage,” Raman said.

“My district, like most Angelenos, (is) simply fed up with the status quo,” said CD 11 Councilwoman Traci Park. “In my district that includes environmental degradation like what is occurring at our environmentally sensitive habitat at Ballona Wetlands.”

“RVs’ garbage and debris on our sidewalks are chocking our roadways and creating dangerous conditions for motorists and pedestrians,” Park added.

The motion instructed staff to identify and secure appropriate interim shelter and housing for people living in RVs, create incentives for voluntary relinquishment of RVs used as dwellings, expand safe parking programs, and allocate necessary budgetary and staffing resources.

Councilwoman Raman noted that the city’s response to vehicular homelessness, particularly RVs, has been reactive and not focused on resolving the issue. The report presented by Raman includes a budget estimate of $141 million, which would be needed to build out broader solutions, such as buy-back programs for decrepit RVs, storage programs for RVs that people want to store, setting up safe parking that accommodates RVs, including 24-hour parking, and potentially having the ability for people to plug in and connect to sewage.

Brian Buchner, the city homelessness coordinator with the Office of the CEO, said that the city’s safe parking sites are not 24 hours, and the city is considering temporary and short-term RV storage. Councilwoman Traci Park hopes that outreach can help achieve the ultimate goal of moving people into permanent housing. Park added that RVs’ garbage and debris on sidewalks are choking roadways and creating dangerous conditions for motorists and pedestrians.

The second motion, presented by Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, seeks to expand the Council District 7 RV pilot program citywide. The program was developed in collaboration with West Valley Homes YES, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, and LA Family Housing. It helped remove 34 RVs from the district and housed 44 individuals, with more than 70 people enrolled in the program and 26 people waiting to be enrolled.

Councilwoman Rodriguez stated that the city council adopted a process that will streamline efforts to create a more cost-effective and expedited approach to addressing the homelessness crisis on Los Angeles’ streets. The council will receive updates on the feasibility of expanding the District 7 RV pilot program citywide and a city-wide rehousing strategy for people experiencing RV homelessness.

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