San Diego

SD City Council Repeals Law Banning People From Living In Cars

It's no longer a crime to sleep in your car in the city of San Diego

The San Diego City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to repeal a law that made it illegal for people to live inside of their vehicles.

San Diego attorney Coleen Cusack represents people in court facing homelessness and said the 35-year old law didn't make sense.

“So there’s nowhere they can lawfully park their vehicles with their belongings and be lawfully found of this very overbroad, vague law,” she said. “Imagine being told as a human being that you’re going to be charged with a crime because people that make more money than you think you make the city look dirty or ugly.”

Last summer, a judge ordered the City to stop ticketing people for sleeping in their cars because the law wasn't very clear. As of Tuesday, anyone can legally live in their car or RV as long as they follow the posted signs and do not park in the same location for more than 72 hours.

“We need real solutions for homelessness, but those solutions have to be real solutions for neighborhoods also,” said homeless advocate Michael McConnell.

McConnell said while this is a step in the right direction, this isn't a long-term solution for ending homelessness.

“We need healthy and safe streets for everybody and so we can’t turn neighborhoods into parking lots,” he said. “We have to create more pathways for people residing in their vehicles to get out of them and back into real homes.”

As for long term solutions, McConnell suggests that city council members look into implementing safe parking lots in designated areas in order to avoid problems with neighbors who may not want someone parking on their street.

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