Los Angeles is infamous for its homeless crisis, and it is getting worse, up another 16% this year to about 36,000 people. That’s because rather than implementing common-sense solutions to address the problem, LA’s politicians have chosen to use it to implement a progressive agenda, such as providing free, permanent government housing.
The cost of this housing? More than $500,000 per unit, and, in some cases, as much as $700,000, according to an LA Controller audit released last week.
Many are not aware that LA’s homeless problem was greatly exacerbated by a bizarre and disastrous decision by the progressive Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals two years ago.
In the case of Martin v. City of Boise, the court ruled that a city may not enforce simple camping, vagrancy or loitering laws to remove people from sleeping on public property, such as sidewalks, beaches and parks – unless the city can demonstrate it provides sufficient homeless shelters. Otherwise, enforcement of such a law, the court ruled, would constitute “cruel and unusual punishment.”
With its ruling, the Ninth Circuit invented two radically new interpretations of the U.S. Constitution.