Four people were shot dead outside a home in the Northridge neighborhood of Los Angeles on Dec. 2. Four suspects were arrested a couple of days later in Las Vegas.
The City of Los Angeles responded by addressing what leaders perceive as a core issue behind a pack of murders: Not enough rules on boarding homes.
Officials report the home where the crime took place was housing as many as 17 people. A review of the home uncovered 75 code violations, the Los Angeles Times reports.
What this has to do with a guy with a criminal history who wasn't deported to a bureaucratic screwup allegedly opening fire on a group of people outside the home, I have no idea. But it is leading to the City Council using the crime as an excuse to add more housing regulations and require boarding homes to get licensed:
Known as the Community Care Facilities Ordinance, the proposal would crack down on unlicensed group and boarding homes in single-family neighborhoods throughout the city. If passed by the full City Council, the ordinance would increase oversight of licensed group homes serving seven or more people and change the city code's definition of a "boarding house" to include any home with more than three leases—requiring them to obtain a license.
The measure would not impact licensed facilities serving six or fewer people, which state law prohibits the city from regulating.
The ordinance, championed by Councilman Mitch Englander, aims to enable police and code enforcement officers to rid single family neighborhoods of unlicensed boarding houses, in which dozens of people are sometimes crammed into a handful of bedrooms and that in some cases become havens for crime and drugs.
Naturally, such a scheme would give the city the authority to push out any sort of group home if the community raises a stink, regardless of whether murderous louts were hanging around. Neighborhood associations love it. People who don't live the kind of lives where they get to be part of neighborhood associations are somewhat nonplussed:
But critics of the ordinance say that it could force group homes that service the drug addicted, disabled, parolees and the chronically homeless to shut their doors and send residents out onto the streets. They say they would be required to get a state license and that would formally define them as "boarding houses." That would mean they could not stay in areas that are zoned for "single family housing."
"No one supports 20 or 30 people in a single family house," said Michael Arnold, executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. "L.A. is a city with a critical shortage of affordable housing. This ordinance will violate fair housing laws."
Using regulations to push unwanted poor people out of communities under the pretense of allegedly protecting them from bad living conditions is hardly a new phenomenon. In one community where I used to live, the city booted residents out of a pack of horrible, tiny little houses because they had code problems like missing doors and no heat. The former residents, however, were given no other options of where to go, so several of them ended up homeless. Mother Nature, notably, does not care about city codes mandating doors or heat.