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LA Headed For Federal Consent Decree To Improve Homeless Policy

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Skid Row. (James Bernal for KPCC)
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The city of Los Angeles is poised to enter a judicial consent decree in which a federal court will oversee the city’s response to its homelessness crisis. It’s the latest twist in a lawsuit that claims the city and county of L.A. have been negligent in their handling of the issue.

In federal court on Thursday, L.A. City Councilman Joe Buscaino said the council had authorized the city attorney’s office to begin negotiating a settlement.

The settlement would be in the form of “a consent decree with each individual [city council] district,” Buscaino spokesman Branimir Kvartuc told me. There are 15 council districts.

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The details have not been worked out, nor will they be for some time.

But the deal is likely to follow in the steps of what’s happened in North Orange County over the last two years. Nearly 20 cities in Orange County, along with Bellflower in L.A. County, have voluntarily agreed to expand their shelter systems to hold at least 60% of their homeless residents.

Right now, L.A. has enough shelter space for one in four homeless residents.

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