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Los Angeles Could Require Hotels to Offer Vacant Rooms to the Homeless

Los Angeles Could Require Hotels to Offer Vacant Rooms to the Homeless

LA voters will see this on the November 2024 ballot.

Los Angeles voters will decide if the city will force every hotel to offer vacant rooms to homeless people. You didn’t accidentally find yourself on a satire website, and this is sadly not a joke. Somehow the initiative backed by the hospitality worker union, Unite Here Local 11, gathered enough signatures to get it on the ballot.

Stuart Waldman, president of the Valley Industry & Commerce Association, representing businesses, told CNN

“It’s insane. It isn’t going to solve the problem,”

“I wouldn’t want my kids around people that I’m not sure about. I wouldn’t want to be in an elevator with somebody who’s clearly having a mental break,” he says. “The idea that you can intermingle homeless folks with paying, normal guests just doesn’t work out.”

However, Unite Here Local 11 co-president Kurt Petersen thinks differently: “By no means do we think this solves the homelessness crisis. But do hotels have a role to play … of course they do.”

WHAT? Why would hotels have a role to play?

Hotels would need to report to the city’s housing department by 2 pm each day the number of vacant rooms and would be prohibited from discriminating against them.

CNN reports: 

If voters give the green light, every hotel in town — from a suburban Super 8 Motel to glitzy hostelries like the storied Biltmore — will be required to report vacancies and welcome homeless guests who have a voucher from the city. The hotels would be paid market-rate for the rooms. The measure would also have implications for developers, who would have to replace any housing knocked down to make way for new hotels.

It’s hard to believe this is not a made-up story, but this is where we’re headed in California. Is your state next? Rapid Response Director of the DeSantis campaign, Christina Pushaw, says not Florida.


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Floating a trial balloon for Directive 10-289

If this passes – and I don’t doubt that it might – watch the hotel/motel business in Los Angeles disappear overnight, rapidly followed by the tourism business. Shortly, Los Angeles will resemble Detroit, but with beaches.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to Rusty Bill. | August 29, 2022 at 12:56 pm

    I see a lot of convention and trade show. business oing away, like it has in San Francisco, Chicago, and Balmo.

Full_American_Immigrant | August 29, 2022 at 9:44 am

“Los Angeles voters will decide if the city will force every hotel to offer vacant rooms to homeless people.”

Is this not a taking within the meaning of the 5th/14th amendments?

The cause of these public problems: TOO MUCH GOVERNMENT.

The solution: a massive decrease in the size and reach of fedgov.

    1. You could call it a taking if you like, but so what? “The hotels would be paid market-rate for the rooms”, so it’s not a problem

    2. What on earth has the fedgov got to do with this? Shrink it all you like, return power to the smallest and most local unit of government available, and this is what you get.

      drednicolson in reply to Milhouse. | August 29, 2022 at 10:35 am

      Market-rate assumes a “normal” amount of cleaning to prep the room for the next guest. I’d expect any room previously occupied by your average homeless would require a significant amount of extra cleaning. Even leaving off the baggage of rampant drug use, homeless tend to not be the neatest of people.

        Milhouse in reply to drednicolson. | August 29, 2022 at 11:28 am

        So what? The question was only whether this is a taking. The answer is that it doesn’t matter. There’s nothing wrong with takings, so long as just compensation is paid. Or at least that is the undisputed law; whether it should be the law is a different question, and one that is irrelevant to this sub-thread.

        The Gentle Grizzly in reply to drednicolson. | August 29, 2022 at 12:57 pm

        The bed-bug issue will prove “interesting”.

      NotCoach in reply to Milhouse. | August 29, 2022 at 10:41 am

      This sounds an awful lot like “Don’t worry about us burning your business down, you have insurance.”

      ‘Market rate’ will not cover the expenses of destructive guests. Even if a hotel decides they will become a 100% homeless shelter to collect guaranteed rates on each room they would soon realize the downside of trying to keep up with the housekeeping and maintenance of people who have no interest in respecting the property they are residing at.

        Milhouse in reply to NotCoach. | August 29, 2022 at 11:26 am

        The question wasn’t whether this is a good proposal. The question was whether this was a taking. The answer is that they will be paid market rate, so it doesn’t matter if it is a taking. You do realize, don’t you, that takings are explicitly authorized by the constitution?

          NotCoach in reply to Milhouse. | August 29, 2022 at 11:28 am

          I have never seen a taking that is an occupation. A taking is to take ownership of the property, not to reimburse someone for its use.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | August 29, 2022 at 4:28 pm

          If it’s not a taking then they don’t even have to compensate you. So make up your mind.

          But it probably is a taking. Taking does not only apply to outright confiscation; for instance see here. Which doesn’t mean it’s illegal, it just means it must be compensated, which it is.

      fscarn in reply to Milhouse. | August 29, 2022 at 11:27 am

      What’s being taken is an owner’s ability to manage his/her/its property as the owner sees fit. So when government directs how your property is to be used, that’s called _____?

      [Come on, you know; begins with “f”]

        Milhouse in reply to fscarn. | August 29, 2022 at 11:29 am

        Again, so what if it is a taking? Takings are perfectly legal, so long as just compensation is paid, which this proposal includes. So none of that matters.

        The Gentle Grizzly in reply to fscarn. | August 29, 2022 at 12:58 pm

        What’s being taken is an owner’s ability to manage his/her/its property as the owner sees fit.

        That went away in 1964 when private businesses on private property were deemed “public accommodations.

          Public accommodation law is part of the common law, which means such businesses have never had any right to exclude certain customers in the first place. Thus nothing could have been taken from them.

          What happened in 1964 was merely that this category was vastly expanded to a whole lot of businesses that had never been considered public accommodations before. And there were states that had explicitly or effectively abolished that law, so this was a federal law that overrode such state laws and reinstated the common law.

          In any event, legally that was not a taking, because it wasn’t substantial enough a burden on property owners, so they were not entitled to compensation.

      Oh. Boy.
      Milhouse, you can’t be that naive, ima assuming you’re going Full Troll here to lubricate the comment thread.

      First, “Fair Market Rate” – as defined by the paying party. That never ends well for the receiving party – as anyone forced to sell their family home so a developer (who contributed to the elections) can build a shopping mall or new hotel, somewhere else than LA obviously, can testify to.

      Second, once instituted this policy will kill the demand by paying customers, sinking the FMR to near zero – and making sure there’s plenty of rooms for crazy homeless persons to trash.

      Third, once the hotel businesses all go bankrupt the govt will either seize the bldgs for back taxes or offer a FMR for purchase near $0.00.

      Fourth, with no hotels the BnB market might undergo a boom. Whereupon some judge will rule they’re “public accommodations” as well. Wash, rinse, repeat. No more BnBs. And the putative homeowners are themselves homeless – as the govt ask ally stole their homes like it stole the hotels.

      Fifth, this is LA. Even knowing the likely result this may proceed moving to the inevitable conclusion. Because THIS time Socialism WILL work.

        iconotastic in reply to BobM. | August 29, 2022 at 2:50 pm

        That it is a terrible idea has nothing to do with whether or not the city of LA has the authority to mandate such an imbecilic step. The city does have the authority as long as it pays ‘market rate’. Of course, market rate for cronies and market rate for schmucks are two different numbers.

        LA will probably do something this stupid. It will be amusing to watch how it all turns out.

        Milhouse in reply to BobM. | August 29, 2022 at 4:44 pm

        BobM, how exactly do you think compensation for takings works now? Where exactly is not not the paying party that determines it? If it’s grossly under the property owner can take it to court, but the government definitely has the upper hand. If the owner could determine his asking price on his own, then taking wouldn’t even be a thing, because there’s almost always some price that the owner will happily take and go away. But the constitution says taking is a thing, which necessarily means it’s OK for some owners to get less than they wanted.

        And yes, of course B&Bs are public accommodations. When has that not been the case?

        The rest of your comment is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter what a disaster this proposal will be if implemented. The only question we’re discussing here is whether it’s a taking, and the answer is that it doesn’t matter because the only significance of the takings clause is to entitle the owner to compensation, and here that is happening anyway.

          BobM in reply to Milhouse. | August 29, 2022 at 7:41 pm

          Milhouse, it’s a taking. You can Texas -two-step the legality all you want, just like the Texas gov from Greatest Lil Whorehouse in Texas. But practically, morally, and (historically) legally it’s a taking. The intent of the original constitution is not hard to discern on this, govt should only invoke emanate domain rarely and for the good of the general public. Not for the benefit of individuals who donated to a legislators last campaign, not for some nebulous “improve the tax base” when alternate locations could do that as well, not to benefit from the one class of folks to the detriment of others.

          Heck, it won’t even DO the last – give it a year and homeless living in rooms not designed for that purpose will be unfit for even homeless to live in.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | August 29, 2022 at 10:02 pm

          BobM, did I ever claim it wasn’t a taking? No. I wrote that it may well be one, but so what? Takings are legal, and there is not one word in the constitution about them having to be rare.

          As for your demand that they be for direct public use rather than for some private interest, fine, so you disagree with Kelo. You and me and probably everyone else here. Not only does our disagreement with it not matter, it’s completely irrelevant here, because this taking (if it is one) is purportedly for public use. The public has a legal obligation to house these people, and for that purpose it proposes to quarter them in hotel rooms. You don’t get a more direct public use than that, so even if Kelo had gone the other way this would still be legal.

      Barry in reply to Milhouse. | August 29, 2022 at 5:18 pm

      “…but so what?”

      You can’t even tolerate loud talker on a train. I’m damn sure YOU will not be spending time with the homeless.

      So, what.

        Milhouse in reply to Barry. | August 29, 2022 at 9:57 pm

        That is irrelevant to the question we are discussing, which is only whether this is a taking. The answer is maybe, but it doesn’t matter because takings are legal. End of story. Whether anyone likes it or will be able to tolerate it is simply irrelevant.

If this law is upheld, what then protects the individual home owner from being forced to take in a homeless boarder?

    Milhouse in reply to George S. | August 29, 2022 at 10:28 am

    Hotels are public accommodations. Not just under the 1960s expansion of that concept to all kinds of businesses — hotels are the original public accommodations, and under the common law had to accept all comers, so long as they could pay and were not otherwise noxious. It’s obvious that merely being homeless doesn’t render a person noxious; it could be that this measure would still allow hotels to make objectively reasonable determinations that this or that voucher-holder who shows up is a noxious person whom they can’t accommodate. Or not, since this is California. But private homes are not public accommodations in the first place, so there’s a substantial distinction there.

      alaskabob in reply to Milhouse. | August 29, 2022 at 10:58 am

      There will have to be transportation arranged and storage for belongings. The SEIU backs this as more workers will be needed which will drive up the cost. Increased security. This will expand until there are no rooms left except for the increasing number of homeless attracted to this . I wouldn’t be too sure that private ownership will be treated any differently. There are plenty of judges to rule in favor of The Party’s legislation. The goal is the end of private property .

        Milhouse in reply to alaskabob. | August 29, 2022 at 11:34 am

        There’s nothing in the proposal about transportation and storage.

        And there is a fundamental difference between a private home and a public accommodation. There always has been. Public accommodation law was not invented in the 1960s, it is part of the common law. The question isn’t whether you approve of it; the question is whether this proposal, if passed, could be applied to private homes, and the answer is no, it can’t be, because it rests on the common law concept of public accommodations, and private homes aren’t those.

      stevewhitemd in reply to Milhouse. | August 29, 2022 at 11:21 am

      It’s obvious that merely being homeless doesn’t render a person noxious…

      Really? The long-term, hard core homeless are about as noxious as they come. If you don’t believe that, volunteer at a homeless shelter. I’m a physician, I treat these folks in the hospital, and oh yes, a fair number of are noxious.

      You are engaged in a splitting of hairs to avoid the main point — if only a certain percentage of homeless people are noxious, it’s that particular group that will be foisted into hotels. That’s exactly the group that will destroy the hotel.

      The poor illegal who lost a job hanging drywall and is living in a car isn’t the problem. It’s the hard-core homeless who are ‘noxious’.

        Milhouse in reply to stevewhitemd. | August 29, 2022 at 11:39 am

        Yes, it is obvious that the mere fact of being homeless doesn’t render someone obnoxious. You know that very well.

        Of course some large proportion of the homeless population is obnoxious. Nobody disputes that. But merely being homeless doesn’t make them so, and you just admitted it.

        This is not hair-splitting, it’s crucial and fundamental. There is nothing in the proposal, at least as described here, that would prevent a hotel from establishing objectively reasonable criteria for which homeless guests it will accept and which it won’t. If there is something like that in there, then that is a material fact that the writer omitted, making this article dishonest. I can only comment on the story as presented, and as presented the proposal doesn’t seem out of line with the common law on public accommodations.

      George S in reply to Milhouse. | August 29, 2022 at 11:27 am

      “Public Accommodation” does not abrogate private property rights (i.e., you can be arrested for trespass in a hotel if you refuse the owner’s demand to leave the premises).

        Milhouse in reply to George S. | August 29, 2022 at 11:32 am

        Not if the owner is required by law to offer you a room that you are able to pay for. Do you seriously think that if a hotel owner were to refuse to accommodate a black patron, the police would evict him?!

          George S in reply to Milhouse. | August 29, 2022 at 1:49 pm

          Don’t lean on black straw men for your argument…

          You are not immune to trespass laws in a hotel, whether you are a guest or not. The owner has to have a LAWFUL reason to want you off the property. Skin color is not a lawful reason. Being loud, dirty, indecent, threatening, drunk, in possession of harmful substances… you get the idea. Right?

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | August 29, 2022 at 4:46 pm

          So what makes you think that this proposal will affect that?

Hmmmm. We’re paying a very hefty sum to rent an apartment on the Westside.

Call me Cunning if you must, but being given a free hotel room … I feel I’m suddenly transitioning and feel more and more like I might identify as homeless.

I have to be me! If I identify as homeless, I hope y’all will respect and accept my new identity. I have to be me!

Just another reason to never visit Commiefornia.

It isn’t enough that there’s feces in the street. Now it will be in every hotel room and hallway.

    GWB in reply to JohnC. | August 29, 2022 at 11:05 am

    Well, some of them will use the toilet, I’m sure.
    Now, of course, some number of those will end up overflowing….

“Angelinos differ over whether forcing hotels to offer vacant rooms to the homeless is a good idea.”

Screw you. It’ll be shoved down your throats and you can do nothing about it.

Gooder and harder.

Seems like Hunter will be able to return to Chateau Marmot – for free-
If when Joe Dr Jill kick him outta WH.

“he initiative backed by the hospitality worker union”
News flash: despite full occupancy, your workload is going to go up and your tips ain’t.

Subotai Bahadur | August 29, 2022 at 1:13 pm

Do it! Do it! Do it!

While there is a lot of collapsing in a city or state, this will help speed up the collapse of Leftist Los Angeles and Leftist California as a whole.

Subotai Bahadur

Somewhere out on YouTube there is a video about the hotels that opened up on LA’s Skid Row. There were plenty of problems with mixing paying hotel guests and the normal inhabitants of the area.

Wow, full occupancy, paid for, all the time. Designate a section of offsite rooms, provide minimal care, bingo bango paid for Skid Row. When it burns down get paid by the city and start over

Even if hoteliers are paid triple normal room rates, they are being conscripted to work for the government.

I…I’m truly at a loss to see how people can take this seriously. The second and third order effects are so truly transparent, I have a hard time believing this isn’t intentional self-sabotage or social satire writ large.

Generally in California, an individual who occupies a residence consecutively for at least 30 days becomes a legally-recognized “tenant” under California law.

“No person may require an occupant of a residential hotel, as defined in Section 50519 of the Health and Safety Code, to move, or to check out and reregister, before the expiration of 30 days occupancy if a purpose is to have that occupant maintain transient occupancy status.”

Which opens a whole new can of worms for the hotel owners/operators. Put simply, they won’t be able to get rid of the squatters,

I’ll tell you right now, I will never knowingly rent a room in a hotel that rents to the homeless.

During the Covid shutdown in 2020 two of the three hotels near my old neighborhood in south San Jose (that had originally catered to long term business clients) was turned into housing for the homeless. This was done to protect them from getting Covid. We had two murders that summer in these hotels, one in the parking lot and one in a room. Homeless don’t give up their habits when given housing – property crimes went up in the neighborhood. There are stories of regular guests (women especially) being harassed and threatened by the “newly-housed” guests. I’ve heard the stories, don’t remember specifics anymore, but however wonderful and optimistic the theory sounds, reality is horrible.

1. It is a fantasy to believe that the city would allow a hotel to apply normal rules excluding guests who cannot behave, since every hotel would make the same valid claim thereby making it impossible for the city to place such individuals.

2.. I am not sure how well the law of takings is developed with regard to the calculation of the compensation, specifically whether it is reduced to reflect actions taken by the government to destroy the value of the property. There is a fair chance that if the tourist trade evaporates the government could get courts to agree that the fair market rental is a fraction of what it was before this.

3. Never underestimate the attraction of corruption. Be on the lookout for the possibility thar certain well-connected hotel owners are not on the list of those into whose hotels the city Stuffs the homeless.

To expand on my last comment, suppose you have a property that is zoned commercial and on that basis is worth $30 million. The government comes and changes the zoning to allow only single-family residential, and let’s suppose that that reduces the value of your property to $10 million. It is well established, regardless of whether we think that this is correct or not as a matter of how the 5th Amendment should be interpreted, that the zoning change that eliminated 2/3 of the value of your property is not considered a taking, and the government does not have to pay you $20 million. Now, suppose that 5 years later in what is generally agreed to be an independent decision, the government announces that it requires your property for a permissible government use. What they have to pay you is $10 million. But, alternatively, suppose that the announcement that they need your property came not 5 years but 5 minutes after the zoning change and it was clear that the purpose and effect of the zoning change was specifically to reduce the value of your property. In that circumstance, it seems to me that the two actions are tied together and the proper compensation is $30 million dollars, but I’m not sure that courts in California would necessarily agree. And of course, trying to unscramble all the eggs and determine how much of a decline in market value of hotels or of hotel rooms was or was not the result of a change in homeless housing policy is not an easy exercise, especially if there are some hotels, as may very well be the case, that are happy to trade full occupancy at somewhat reduced rates for their current situation.

I have experienced a Holiday Inn in Maspeth, Queens that was forced by NYC to take the homeless. First reaction was why am I paying a chain hotel full rate when I found my room to be in a homeless shelter? Furniture was already chipped and decaying. Noise and cleanliness no longer up tp Holiday Inn chain standards. Can’t imagine a chain of hotels leaving their franchise name on these places. Part of the market rate is the chain name and standards. So, these hotels will deteriorate and the owners will eventually sell them to slumlords or abandon them. Conventions and meetings will move beyond Los Angeles control. Just one more reason why people are moving out of California, a laboratory showing what happens when a state embraces socialism.

Well the left enjoys violating the rest of the Bill of Rights, I guess this is the closest they can think of getting to violate the 3rd aren’t the homeless the foot soldiers of the left? Asking for a friend.