LA city council votes to name hotels that refuse to house homeless, may ‘commandeer’ them

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The Los Angeles City Council Wednesday voted to identify hotels refusing to take in the homeless during the coronavirus pandemic and said they could possibly be “commandeered.”

Only 1,582 people have been placed in hotels, far short of the city’s goal of housing 15,000, FOX 11 in Los Angeles reported.

“Each hotel brings new hope, each room could save a life,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said of Project Roomkey, according to KABC-TV.

“If hotels are making a distinction among people classifying housed and unhoused differently in terms of accommodations that they’re going to be repaid for, that the city and county will pay for with reimbursements, then I think there’s a potential civil rights violation,” Councilman Mike Bonin said. “If the problems are on the hotel end, the public should know why, and then we should consider commandeering as they’ve talked about in other cities.”

The council also plans to investigate if hotels refusing to house homeless have received tax breaks from the city recently.

The motion, co-authored by Bonin, says, some hotels have been “unwilling to participate, reneged on initial interest, citing security concerns, liability issues, objections from corporate management or fear of lost revenue from being branded a ‘homeless hotel,'” according to KABC.

“It would seem to me to be a complete justification that we expect something back especially during an emergency,” Councilman Mitch O’Farrel said of hotels that have received tax breaks. – READ MORE

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