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Housing and Homelessness

Federal Judge Gives Los Angeles Leaders 60 Days To Map Out $1 Billion Of Homelessness Spending

A map on a red bicycle rides past the sign that reads: Skid Row City Limit. POP Too Many.
Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles is a focus of U.S. District Court Judge David Carter's injunction about the city and county's approach to homelessness.
AFP via Getty Images)
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A federal judge is giving Los Angeles leaders more time to comply with a sweeping homelessness order.

Last week, U.S. District Court Judge David Carter ordered the city and county of L.A. to offer shelter to every Skid Row resident by mid-October, part of a far-reaching injunction that would also put the city’s $1 billion in planned homelessness spending into escrow.

The city and county are fighting Carter’s preliminary injunction — requesting a stay of the order and appealing the case to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

On Sunday, the judge mostly denied the request for a stay but agreed to put the escrow part of the order on hold — instead giving L.A. city leaders 60 days to provide details of the $1 billion spending plan, including funding sources and goals for the number of people who will be housed.

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Carter scheduled a hearing on the case for May 27 and says he wants L.A. County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda Solis and Mayor Garcetti to meet with him to discuss a settlement.

The judge also denounced what he called “squabbling” between the city and county over responsibility for the homelessness crisis.

Carter, who is overseeing a March 2020 lawsuit by a coalition of downtown business owners called The L.A. Alliance for Human Rights, is known for bold, unpredictable action aimed at forcing public officials to take greater responsibility for the homelessness crisis.

Last May, Carter stunned local leaders with a bombshell court order requiring the city and county to pursue “humane relocation” of people living near freeways. That led to an agreement to provide 6,000 new shelter beds by the end of 2021. But some question whether Carter’s methods are on firm legal footing.

In a statement last week, Skip Miller, partner at the Miller Barondess law firm and outside counsel to L.A. County, said, “Deciding how to spend taxpayers’ money and deliver services to people experiencing homelessness is a legislative, not a judicial, function.”

Read Carter's full April 25 order, which was amended on Monday, here.