May 29, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

City Council Passes Motion Making Selling or Leasing of RVs as Housing Illegal

Motion Next Goes to Transportation and Housing and Homelessness Committees

By Dolores Quintana

Councilmember Traci Park’s motion to the Los Angeles City Council that would make the act of selling or renting RVs to be used as housing illegal unanimously passed a City Council vote on August 30. The City estimates that approximately 4,000 RVs currently serving as homes in the City.

The approved motion introduces an escalating system of fines for those engaged in selling or leasing RVs for housing purposes. It also lays the groundwork for potential remedies, including requiring the people Park calls “vanlords” to pay relocation fees and imposing fines for illegal rent collection. With a vote of 12-0, the council made this decision without lengthy discussion.

The phenomenon of individuals living in RVs has been a topic of intense conversation all over the City. People like Johnny Lopez, as reported by K-ABC 7, who temporarily resides in an RV for free, have become the face of this housing crisis. Lopez’s situation exemplifies the issue’s complexity: he once had a job and an apartment but recently lost both. Housing officials visit makeshift RV neighborhoods like the one Lopez is in approximately once a week, determining relocations based on eligibility.

While some individuals are offered hotel rooms, others, like Lopez, are given beds in shelters. However, Lopez expressed his reservations about shelters, seeing them as less than ideal. He believes that living in an RV, while unconventional, still provides a sense of home and independence.

Councilmember Park has also introduced a separate motion to regulate the presence of RVs near schools, parks, and residential areas. A fundamental challenge is deciding where RVs can and cannot be parked, as finding suitable locations for these mobile homes presents a complex dilemma.

Councilmember Park emphasized the need to establish order in addressing this housing issue while recognizing the necessity of accommodating these individuals within the community. However, the ultimate decision on enforcing the RV motion lies with the city attorney’s office.

As the motion heads to the Transportation and Housing and Homelessness committees, the fate of those living in RVs in Los Angeles remains uncertain. Johnny Lopez and many others like him await the outcome, hopeful that viable solutions can be found for their unique housing predicament in a city where traditional housing costs have become increasingly out of reach for a significant portion of the population.

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