Los Angeles is pushing forward with a new law that could displace unhoused people, despite the CDC's warning that it could lead to more COVID-19 outbreaks

On September 3, a new LA law prohibited sitting or sleeping within the public right of way.
This law was ruled "unconstitutional" and also violates CDC guidance.

The agency warns that "Clearing encampments... increases the risk of infectious disease spreading."

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Los Angeles is moving forward with a new law, which advocates for homelessness say could result in some people being forced to move.

The rule, which took effect on September 3, restricts sitting, lying, sleeping, or setting up camp within the "public right of way". Insider reported that Mayor Eric Garcetti signed it in July.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discussed the management of groups of unhoused persons in cities several weeks before Garcetti signed Garcetti's ordinance in Los Angeles. They stated that clearing encampments could cause people to disperse in the community and disrupt connections with service providers. This increases the risk of infectious disease spreading.

Insider asked for more information but the CDC did not respond immediately.

Mike Bonin, a LA city councilor, was one of two who voted against this ordinance. Bonin said he was frustrated and angry and that the city is not responding to homelessness the right way with its failed policies.

Although it is too early to know if sweeps led to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Los Angeles, Pastor Troy Vaughn, CEO at the Los Angeles Mission homeless shelter, said that "It's a real concern not to have a controlled process in order to address the pandemic homelessness in middle of a pandemic of public health pandemic."

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A panel of US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals judges submitted an opinion on January 13, 2021 arguing that Los Angeles' ban on bulky items being stored in public spaces could be construed as a violation of Section 4 of the Fourth Amendment. This protects people from "unreasonable government seizures of property," even if the property is kept in public places.

Mayor Garcetti, Nury Martinez, President of the LA City Council, and the Los Angeles Police Department published a joint statement on September 3. They suggested that the ordinance does not have to be the final word in the matter regarding housing the unhoused population of Los Angeles. The statement stated that there is no need to choose between keeping public spaces clean and providing housing for those who are homeless.

Insider spoke with Kenneth Mejia who is a candidate for Los Angeles city controller in 2022. He said he was disappointed that the city continued to enforce the rule. Mejia stated that "we already know what works in ending homelessness: housing."

"Unfortunately, the city's priorities for budget are not reflective of evidence-based solutions."

Garcetti's budget proposal for the fiscal year 2021-2022 includes almost $1 billion in spending on homelessness. The city allocated $58 million from the homeless budget to CARE+, which focuses on the elimination of housing encampments.