Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino wants tiny houses built for the homeless in his district to be removed from city streets.
“It’s not fair to let public spaces be used by only a small segment of the population and allow those spaces to be taken over,” said Dennis Gleason, Buscaino’s policy director, before the homelessness and poverty committee.
The tiny house movement started in South Los Angeles earlier this year. Volunteers built the small wooden structures in hopes of providing the homeless with a safer alternative to sleeping on the street or in a tent.
“It’s just a safe place to sleep. You feel comfortable. You can leave your stuff some place,” said Anne Turner, who had her tiny home pushed up next to trash cans in an alley in San Pedro.
The houses are on wheels, and the occupants can move them if necessary. But critics say they don’t belong on curbs or public sidewalks.
The group that builds the tiny houses say they do it in part out of desperation, because they say there are no other services available for the homeless in San Pedro.
“There is no transitional housing in San Pedro. The only way you can get into housing is if you’re mentally ill,” said Nora Vera, who has helped build three tiny houses.
“If we can improve the people of San Pedro, San Pedro can improve itself,” Vera said.