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Housing and Homelessness

Councilmember Buscaino Proposes Camping Ban At 161 Sites In The 15th District

A homeless encampment under a freeway bridge shows several tents and makeshift living quarters.
An encampment under a freeway bridge in Joe Buscaino's City Council District 15.
(Ethan Ward
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L.A. City Councilmember Joe Buscaino has proposed a ban on camping at 161 sites in his South L.A. district.

The resolution is headed to the homelessness and poverty committee for further discussion. Buscaino argues that sending his proposal to committee just delays much-needed enforcement.

"Don't we want to protect the most vulnerable sites in the city in my district? That's all I'm asking," Buscano said at Wednesday's council meeting. His 15th council district extends from Watts to San Pedro.

Under a new ordinance recently adopted by the city of L.A., each councilmember must submit a request for encampments to be cleared.

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Several councilmembers contend that targeting many locations will make it hard for the city and county to offer adequate services and shelter before clearing encampments.

Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell said that "161 sites in one resolution makes me doubt that there has been or will be adequate street engagement, as agreed upon by this council and the protocols therein."

Buscaino has made a tougher stance on encampments a key part of his campaign for mayor.

Homelessness and poverty chair Kevin de León has promised to work closely with Buscaino to address any issues with his proposal.

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