LOS ANGELES – City officials in Los Angeles have started seizing tiny houses from homeless people.
Elvis Summers, a formerly homeless LA resident, built 37 of the tiny homes, which are about the size of a parking space, and donated them to the homeless in the LA area.
Summers was able to build the homes with more than $100,000 in donations, raised through an online video campaign.
“It’s not a permanent solution, but nobody is doing anything for shelter right now,” Summers told the Los Angeles Times. “They keep just saying we need permanent housing, but it never happens. When the city took the houses, they didn’t offer housing, they straight kicked them out.”
Supporters of the tiny homes see the houses as cheap and safe alternatives to sleeping on the street.
More than 30,000 people are displaced on the streets of Los Angeles County, the Times reported Thursday.
Los Angeles residents and city officials have mixed feelings toward the seizure of the tiny houses.
Some residents see the homes as breeding grounds for prostitution and drugs. They argue the homes make it easier to conceal criminal activity.
Previous efforts to clean up the houses uncovered needles and a gun.
“I’m getting complaints from constituent who have to walk in the streets to avoid them,” the Times reported Councilman Curren Price said.
While Los Angeles wants to end homelessness, how to get the $2 billion needed to fix the issue is still a gray area. Officials for the city haven’t pinpointed a source for the needed funds.
The houses being seized are going to be destroyed. They are labeled as “bulky items,” which qualifies them for immediate confiscation due to a new sweeps ordinance passed by the city.