Los Angeles City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson recently introduced a resolution to support a state Assembly bill that would require cities to create a parking ticket relief program for unhoused people.
The state bill was introduced by Assemblyman Isaac Bryan (54th District) in January. If passed and signed into law, the bill would require processing agencies to offer qualified people payment plans for unpaid parking citations. It would also require the agency to forgive at least $1,500 in parking fines annually for people experiencing homelessness. In compliance with the California Constitution, the state would reimburse local agencies for state-mandated costs.
Harris-Dawson noted in his motion that 10,300 people were living in their vehicles throughout Los Angeles in 2020, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s count.
“For many of these homeless residents, their vehicle serves as their safe haven, protecting them from exposure to the wind, rain, heat and cold, and it keeps them and their possessions safe,” the resolution states. “Vehicles also keep the unsheltered grounded in their current life by retaining employment and access to their friends and families, as well as access to public services and related appointments with case managers, service providers and physical and mental health care professionals.”
The Assembly bill is aimed at relieving people experiencing homelessness from parking fines that may contribute to them losing their vehicle and not finding housing.
“The city should support this bill to ensure homeless people are not pushed further into poverty through the punitive and counterproductive confiscation of their vehicles,” the resolution states.
Under the state bill, the processing agency would verify an applicant’s eligibility by contacting a homeless services provider or continuum of care, such as the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.