New Poll Shows Growing Support for Ballot Measure Addressing Homeless Encampments
With homelessness and housing serving as focal points for the 2022 mayoral election, Councilmember Buscaino recently introduced a new measure calling for increased regulation of homelessness encampments on public spaces.
The City Council took up the matter for a vote this Wednesday but decided to continue vetting the proposal in the city's Homelessness and Poverty Committee on an 11-2 vote.
This comes after the City moved to regulate encampments following the controversial Martin v. Boise decision. In prohibiting cities to move homeless individuals, the 9th Circuit permitted local governments to regulate encampments in only very specific cases - including public areas deemed as 'sensitive'.
According to a new poll surveying support for the ballot measure, over 64% of voters would vote 'Yes' on the ballot measure.
What would the ballot measure do?
In aligning itself with the Boise decision, Buscaino's measure would do the following:
- Prohibit homeless encampments in all public areas - under the condition that housing is both available and offered.
- Designate the Office of Emergency Management as the lead department responsible for the production of and operation of emergency temporary housing.
- Authorize the Mayor to bypass zoning and fee restrictions to expedite the housing development process.
The motion was seconded by Councilmember John Lee. If approved by the City Council, the measure would be placed on the 2022 ballot for voters to decide.
"The voters of Los Angeles deserve to weigh in and decide whether to make changes to our local ordinances", said Councilmember Buscaino.
The measure seeks to provide a more immediate response to the homelessness crisis. Rather than wait for the slow development of affordable housing units, the new law aims to "cut red tape" and provide immediate relief and regulation of encampments in public spaces.
The Councilmember went on to state, "this ballot measure will ensure that everyone experiencing homelessness is offered housing. The goal is that no person goes to jail, and that everyone is diverted to the help that they need."