Judge Rejects Settlement in LA Homeless Housing Suit

U.S. District Judge David Carter refused to approve a settlement agreement Monday between LA County and the LA Alliance for Human Rights over homelessness.

The LA Alliance for Human Rights filed the lawsuit in 2020. It sought to compel Los Angeles to provide shelter to every homeless person in the county. In the end, the two sides agreed to throw more money at the problem. The county agreed to spend an additional $236 million over the next five years to increase outreach, services and housing – and to fund an additional 300 beds for those with mental health or substance abuse disorders.

Judge Carter said the two sides could do better, particularly when it comes to the number of beds. He also signaled he’s awaiting the results of the LA mayor’s race, so he can be sure the city’s next mayor is “comfortable” with the deal.

Judge Carter’s various rulings in this case have been criticized for being unreasonable or made in the absence of evidence. Last year, he ordered the city and county to house every homeless person living on Skid Row within 180 days and ordered that $1 billion in government funds be frozen in an escrow account. The Ninth Circuit struck his ruling down.

The plaintiffs praised Carter’s decision this week, acknowledging that the agreement could be better.

County Counsel Skip Miller issued the following statement:

“We are disappointed that the Court chose to delay dismissal of this case and look forward to moving forward as soon as possible with the settlement between the LA Alliance and the County – a landmark agreement that exemplifies the cooperation between the City of LA and County of LA in addressing homelessness."

Read more form Courthouse News Service and the Los Angeles Times.