Los Angeles officials are exacerbating the city’s homeless crisis by evicting homeless people from the “tiny homes” that they depend on for shelter and destroying them.
Ten of the thirty-seven tiny homes that LA resident Elvis Summers has built and donated to the homeless population of South Los Angeles, from Van Nuys to Inglewood, are being confiscated at the order of city council member Curren Price, who represents the neighborhood. According to theLos Angeles Times, homes that are along the sides of highway overpasses will be confiscated and taken to a city-owned lot, where they will then be destroyed.
Summers has been forced to evict the residents from the homes he built and painted, which are covered with bright colors, furnished with solar-powered lighting, and sport American flags.
“When the city took the houses, they didn’t offer housing, they straight kicked them out,” Summers told the Times.
While LA mayor Eric Garcetti says he plans to address the homeless crisis by moving people from makeshift housing to permanent homes, one of the homeless men living in one of Summers’ tiny homes said the city currently has no plan to move him into alternative housing.
“[The city is] taking houses from people who need them right now. … Their plan isn’t anything,” Kenner Jackson told the Times.
As of November 2015, Los Angeles led the nation in chronic homelessness. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the population of chronically homeless residents skyrocketed 55 percent from 2013. HUD counted 12,536 people living on the streets of Los Angeles in January 2015. In 2014, a stunning 20% of the nation’s homeless population resided in California.