(NewsNation) — The Los Angeles City Council is tackling a county-wide crisis: thousands permanently inhabit RVS on the streets of Los Angeles County.
The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved a motion aimed at prohibiting the sale or rental of RVs for housing purposes, going after so-called “vanlords” who lease RVs.
Councilwoman Eunisses Hernandez introduced amendments to assist RV renters in finding stable housing. Also, Councilwoman Traci Park introduced a motion aimed at regulating RV parking near sensitive areas, such as schools, day care centers, parks and homes.
Approximately 15% of Los Angeles’ homeless population now resides in RVs scattered throughout the county. Research from the NewsNation team has uncovered that roughly 6,500 people are living in approximately 4,000 RVs in LA County, marking a substantial 40% increase since 2018.
It’s an effort to slow down this pressing issue that is reaching a boiling point for residents.
About 85% of individuals living in these RVs are renting them from people known as vanlords, paying a few hundred dollars a month for housing.
Residents argue that these RV dwellers are bringing a wave of crime to their neighborhoods and nearby businesses. Additionally, this situation poses a massive public health issue, as RV dwellers are living in unsanitary conditions and often dump sewage onto the streets.
City officials told NewsNation that some RVs are rat-infested and in extreme cases, people living in them are illegally tapping into traffic lights to obtain power. Frequent RV fires, occasionally leading to fatalities, have become a concerning issue.
In Los Angeles, sleeping in vehicles is legally allowed on certain streets, though some streets have parking restrictions. Yet, the challenge for officials is enforcing these restrictions effectively, as towing these RVs demands large trucks and additional resources due to the escalating nature of the problem.