LA cracks down on tiny houses illegal housing

From NPR:

LA Officials Bring The Hammer Down On Tiny Houses For Homeless

Elvis Summers is not part of any nonprofit or government agency. He’s just a 38-year-old guy with a Mohawk and tattooed arms who started a GoFundMe campaign last spring so he could build tiny houses for homeless people to live in. He got the idea after befriending a homeless woman in his neighborhood.

“It just got to me, you know, I’m just like, you know, everybody in this neighborhood knows you, they like you,” he says. “Why does nobody give a crap that you’re sleeping in the dirt? Literally.”

So far Summer has given out 37 tiny 6- by 8-foot houses, which cost $1,200 each to build. They resemble sheds, painted in bright, solid colors, with solar panels on the roof, wheels to make them mobile and a portable camping toilet.

But recently, city sanitation workers confiscated three of the houses from a sidewalk in South Los Angeles and tagged others for removal.

“Unfortunately, these structures are a safety hazard,” says Connie Llanos, a spokeswoman for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti. “These structures, some of the materials that were found in some of them, just the thought of folks having some of these things in a space so small, so confined, without the proper insulation, it really does put their lives in danger.”

Llanos says they’d be better off taking advantage of official resources like shelters or housing vouchers.

According to the latest count, 44,000 people live on the streets in and around LA. The city’s sweep put some people back on the sidewalks and since then Summers has been handing out tents instead.

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41 Responses to LA cracks down on tiny houses illegal housing

  1. grim says:

    Find it ironic how some are lashing out against building and zoning codes as being restrictive towards providing ultra-low-cost housing, but at the same time, they will rail against businesses who complain that current regulatory structures are stifling to new business.

    So which is it?

    Applaud the guy for trying, but this was incredibly misguided. This goes against nearly every building/construction code, zoning, planning laws, etc.

  2. grim says:

    Shaking my head reading through the NPR comments, so much nonsense, but came across this gem, the best response of the 500:

    The problem is that these things are doghouses for the homeless. Scrapwood tents. Shanties. People experiencing homelessness are human beings. They deserve the same minimum housing standards as the rest of us. When you go home to your house, it was built and inspected so that it meets minimum health and safety standards. Doesn’t everyone deserve the same thing?

    On the surface, building these little shacks seems like a really clever idea. Give it a little thought, and not so much. While they offer the illusion of decency, in reality they just further perpetuate sub-human living conditions. By being slightly better than sleeping on the dirt or in a tent, they give people struggling with addiction and/or mental illness an unwarranted sense of security, so they can put off facing the personal demons that prevent them from choosing the more challenging path that leads to a better life off the streets.

    For the people building these things, they offer that warm feeling of ‘doing something,’ without the realization that all they’re doing is kicking the can down the road, and accepting that for some people sub-human living conditions is just going to be o.k. It’s like handing out sandwiches to the homeless once a week or once a month. The person handing them out goes home feeling really great. The guy who got the sandwich still has no home, and he’s hungry again in a couple of hours. You often hear the people doing this sort of band-aid charity saying “I get so much more out of this than I give!” Unfortunately, that statement is often far more true than the people saying it realize.

    Really doing something about homelessness involves shelling out resources for affordable housing for the poor, and supportive housing for the people who are now chronically homeless. It means funding social workers as well as mental health and addiction treatment. It means not accepting subhuman shacks, tent villages and shanty towns, but instead insisting on more affordable housing and supportive housing throughout every city, including in places near where you live.

  3. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Typical human mindset….I want it all

    grim says:
    March 5, 2016 at 7:23 am
    Find it ironic how some are lashing out against building and zoning codes as being restrictive towards providing ultra-low-cost housing, but at the same time, they will rail against businesses who complain that current regulatory structures are stifling to new business.

    So which is it?

    Applaud the guy for trying, but this was incredibly misguided. This goes against nearly every building/construction code, zoning, planning laws, etc.

  4. The Great Pumpkin says:

    uyers and sellers in the New Jersey-Pennsylvania region will enter a highly competitive housing market in 2016 as the economy continues to get stronger, according to a survey of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach Realtors agents.

    Forty-one percent of agents reported that both buyers and sellers will have equal power in 2016, an increase from 37 percent last year, while buyers’ power decreased from 44 percent to 34 percent in the survey. The online survey of 347 BHHS Fox & Roach agents was conducted from Nov. 3 to 20, 2015.

    Agents feel positive about current regional market conditions for both buyers and sellers, but the sellers position is strengthening, as 53 percent of agents feel it is a good time to sell (up from 48 percent in 2015), while the percentage of agents that feel it’s a good time to buy remained the same as last year (77 percent).

    Data from the BHHS HomExpert First Nine Months report shows monthly average inventory has remained relatively stagnant since 2012. Limited housing options will continue to fuel competition, with 30 percent of agents reporting that limited supply/inventory will be the biggest hurdle homebuyers will face in 2016.

  5. The Great Pumpkin says:

    Lakewood sounds like the place to be.

    “They wonder why people hate them and don’t want them. They eventually buy all homes in the area, harass the police so they don’t get traffic tickets, do what they want, keep having more kids, walk in the middle of streets, cut off anyone and everyone, ignore traffic rules, buy all businesses, are very rude and “stare” at people who dress normal. They go to private schools that we pay for, private bussing and work the system so good, that they get welfare and “help”, but they drive $100,000 cars and have homes worth alot……..and tax payers are paying for it all. They over-ride the police to the point the state cops has to come in……….IE, all the state cops that in Lakewood. They themselves are the reason they aren’t wanted……..if you don’t believe me or think I am wrong……..go and spend several days driving in the mostly jewish owned areas of lakewood”

  6. Juice Box says:

    re # 6 – That’s the pine barrens they aren’t living on Ocean Ave.

  7. Trumpista says:

    Boy, Jindal try to turn Lousiana into India.

    Just like Jebby turned Florida into Mexico

  8. Trumpista says:

    I got the feeling Fat Boy Christie has us on the same 3rd world track.

  9. Essex says:

    It’s official. Not a buyer or a seller this year. That is all.

  10. leftwing says:

    8. Horrible reporting.

    Their chart defies their own assertions.

    They say Jindal’s tax cuts reduced budget receipts, and say the only way he was able to get away with it was because Katrina federal funding buoyed LA receipts.

    Look at their chart.

    Yes, the end of federal funding meant a significant drop off in budget receipts in LA. But after that decline in the first year of the tax cuts (2010) total receipts were higher than *before* Katrina (2005), per their chart.

    And then, receipts increased every year after the initial year of “tax cuts to the wealthy”.

    I know the Post/NYT like to ignore economic reality but goodness, don’t put supporting data in the article that betrays your blatant political position.

  11. Libturd says:

    Those mini homes will have the same impact as any other welfare. The government is simply treating the symptoms and not the disease.

  12. Jeez, of course it requires government intervention. Tiny houses were never intended for homeless people. They are only intended for college-educated white people with high student debt loads that aren’t allowed to smoke pot in their room located in their parent’s basement. This is exactly where regulations should be applied. #tinyhousesforwhitesonly

  13. Wait until formerly suburban, wealthy whites are roaming the country in armed packs, sleeping in the open and warming themselves next to trashcan fires.

    It’s coming. In our lifetimes.

  14. And ‘justice’ is gonna be whatever me and my .357 think it is.

  15. Essex says:

    15. put down the Cormac McCarthy

  16. Now Spanky, be reasonable says:

    “15. put down the Cormac McCarthy”

    Brilliant! Now I can start my day.

  17. Libturd questioning the gender of Hillary's Cankle fluid. says:

    I love this place.

  18. Comrade Nom Deplume, Newspeak Editor says:

    Not looking forward to the expressions of glee from the prog/soc bloc of anon/Otto/Rory/yome on the passing of Nancy Reagan.

  19. Comrade Nom Deplume, Newspeak Editor says:

    [15] splat

    More like Balkanization. We won’t see “The Road” in our lifetimes but we may see Yugoslavia

  20. Libturd questioning the gender of Hillary's Cankle fluid. says:

    I didn’t know she was still alive. Holy old!

  21. Grim,

    Look on the bright side: just as soon as Obama is safely out of office and Trump is inaugurated, the media will have someone to blame these shantytown Obamavilles Trumpvilles on!

  22. Rafael Eduardo Cruz says:

    Say Yes to drugs (Keith Richards) > Say No to drugs (nancy reagan)

  23. Rafael Eduardo Cruz says:

    Anybody watching the Generation X docushow series in National Geographic channel. Tonight at 10pm?

  24. Hughesrep says:


    She made it to 94. Good run.

    Shouldn’t have one of her friends known yesterday? I may dig the old Graphix out of the attic in her honor.

  25. Hughesrep says:


    Watched a few episodes so far. It’s ok. Keeps Christian Slater off the streets.

  26. Soon to be another NJ expat says:

    Happy (early) Spring NJRER readers.

    You might remember I last wrote the board last April 22, about my experience dealing with a positive report of an underground oil tank on my property for sale in Somerset County. Turns out that the tank sweep reported a false positive, and after digging to confirm I discovered that my estimation was correct that there could not be a UST installed due to shallow ledge rock. Apparently the high iron content of the rock is what set off the detector. Once this issue was resolved I got a decent cash price for my very small POS ranch house, which is now being offered with a 3200 s/f extension at triple the price.

    Anyway, a question for the board…

    I’m looking at a northern Delaware property being auctioned for Freddie Mac through their approved auction house. Place is a 2000 s/f ranch on a somewhat busy street but set back maybe 75′ on the 1.8 acre lot, which is next to undeveloped park land. It apprears from the pictures to be a cosmetic wreck, with every interior surface requiring renovation, but otherwise looks to have great bones and the location is very good for us.

    The listing expired a couple weeks ago at 199k unsold – Freddie acquired it for 163k a year ago. I would venture that since it didn’t sell to a flipper it must be a real POS. The house across the street with one fewer bedroom and 70’s decor sold for 250k in 2013 – has a current Zestimate is 265k.

    Looking for advice from the pros here regarding what risks I would be exposed to in such a transaction. I’d guess that “run away” may well be the consensus but I’m willing to take a moderate risk since we would like a newly reno’d home and I don’t wish to buy a flip. I have the cash to throw at the purchase and reno, but I’m not particularly eager to spend it… in fact I’d rather rent but of course the wife wants otherwise.

  27. Hughesrep says:

    Not a flipper, but bought an ugly house and fixed it myself. Nothing major was wrong with it Great lot, almost everything we (she) wanted, horrible cosmetically. Think Layla scene in Goodfellas ugly.

    It will take twice as long and twice as much money as much as you think to fix it. Even if nothing major is wrong. I’m guessing the reason the flippers didn’t slap lipstick on a pig is that something major is wrong.

  28. Nom [20];

    The thing is, even with fair warning, they won’t be able to resist. They’re all class like that.

  29. chicagofinance says:

    Dedicated to Fast Eddie…… if we could only substitute Space with Real Estate and Marshmellows with Skittles…..

  30. Hughesrep says:


    The biggest, yugest class.

  31. Hughesrep [29];

    Think Layla scene in Goodfellas ugly.

    You mean pink with white leather like that Cadillac? Ooffa..

    I went through an open house in Wayne off Alps Rd when we were looking. White formica everywhere… EVERYWHERE. They spent a lot of money decorating in the 80’s, but one since. Was in remarkably good condition. That place really reminded me of Goodfellas.

  32. D-FENS says:

    “Do not disrespect the man who makes sense to us”

  33. Fabius Maximus says:

    #52 (Rags Previous)

    “”but his brain has been misspent on the support of false ideas.

    Coming from a confirmed “RandHead”, I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or an insult?

  34. Fabius Maximus says:

    I think I found Trumps new theme tune.

    “We passed upon the stair
    We spoke of was and when
    Although I wasn’t there
    He said I was his friend
    Which came as a surprise”

  35. Fabius Maximus says:

    #20 Tin Pot

    Never had a problem with her. A classy lady.
    Her husband on the other hand …..

  36. Fabius Maximus says:

    #1 #2 Grim

    Could explain, but I’ll just leave it at Mitchell Lama.

  37. Fabius Maximus says:


    The other side of your rants.
    13 arrests,48 city ordinances, 30 to hospital. 387 calls for service, 2 injured officers.

  38. Joyce says:

    Good to know you continue to understand nothing.

  39. Great post. I will be dealing with many of these issues as well..

Comments are closed.