Federal judge orders LA to offer shelter to unhoused people on Skid Row. Will it survive appeals?

Hosted by

Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles has the city’s largest population of unhoused people, April 6, 2020. Photo by Ted Soqui/SIPA USA

U.S. District Judge David O. Carter issued an order last week: The city of LA must offer shelters to people living on the streets of Skid Row by October 18. On Sunday, he paused one part of the order — that the city must put $1 billion in escrow to pay for it. 

The city and county of LA have filed appeals, so the future of this ruling hangs in the balance.

UCLA Professor Emeritus of Law Gary Blasi says, “I don’t think there’s any way that the appellate court will not stay this order if asked to, and the order would not survive on appeal in my opinion.” That’s based on the court's effort to intrude on local government's right to balance where to spend its money, where to prioritize, and where to operate.

Blasi, who’s currently a public interest lawyer, doesn’t think Judge Carter’s order solves homelessness because it’s focused on temporary measures.

He says, “The only solution to houselessness or homelessness is … actual housing, where you have some privacy, some permanence, some ability to have pets, relationships, and a little bit of an ordinary life.”

Credits

Guest: