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LA Must Create More Than 5,000 New Homeless Shelter Beds By April 

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A homeless encampment on First Street in downtown L.A. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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Last week, U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr. decided he’d had enough.

The federal judge serving as mediator for L.A. City and County officials set up an emergency hearing and ordered both parties to stop wasting time and work out exactly how they were going to provide beds and services to thousands of homeless people living near freeways.

Today, those officials announced they’d finally reached an agreement.

According to a binding term sheet released Tuesday, the city must create 5,300 new beds by April, and 700 additional new beds by the end of next year. In exchange, L.A. County will provide $300 million in funding.

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The agreement stems from a lawsuit filed in March by the LA Alliance for Human Rights, which claimed the city and county’s apparent lack of services and alleged negligence were endangering L.A. County’s more than 66,000 homeless residents, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

In May, the judge overseeing the case, U.S. District Judge David O. Carter, issued a preliminary injunction ordering city, county and homelessness officials to provide shelter for more than 6,000 county residents living under or near freeways. Carter’s order compelled officials to quickly develop a plan to make that happen, but that process has stalled for months.

According to the new agreement, L.A. County will pay the city up to $60 million each year for the next five years and a one-time bonus of $8 million if it reaches its 5,300-bed target by April.

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