Blame Game: L.A.’s Homeless Crisis Pits Cities Against One Another

When it comes to L.A.’s homelessness crisis, there’s plenty of blame to go around. But two L.A. city councilmen are pointing the finger squarely at their neighbors, accusing places like Culver City of pushing their street dwellers over the border into L.A. by barring public camping.

City Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Joe Buscaino recently filed a motion to have their neighboring cities investigated for possible failure to comply with a 9th Circuit ruling, LAist reports. That decision said cities can’t remove people from the streets if they aren’t providing adequate alternative housing.

It’s a decision L.A. is abiding by, the councilmen say. It’s only fair that its neighbors play by the same rules.

In addition, the councilmen have asked the city attorney to look into possible legal action to get more shelters built in nearby towns. This, they hope, would stop the spillover effect occurring right now.

Culver City’s manager insists no one from his city is being ‘pushed’ into L.A. Torrance City Councilman Aurelio Mattucci also takes issue with the accusation and says, if anything, it’s the other way around.

Buscaino and Mattuci got into a heated argument on social media after the Torrance councilman threw some shade at L.A. It all started when he captioned a picture of a tent outside a local business, promising “to keep Torrance looking like Torrance should, not LA."

Buscaino, who admits he was “pissed off,” responded this way:

“What are your solutions to solving homelessness Councilman? How many safe parking locations does Torrance have....Zero! How many supportive housing units is Torrance building? Zero! How many safe storage centers in the City of Torrance? Zero! How many emergency shelter beds does Torrance offer? Zero! So of course those seeking services come to the City of LA because our neighboring cities aren’t stepping up to help solve this crisis. LA can’t do this alone sir. Time for your City to step up and do your part in solving this humanitarian crisis.”

Clearly, tensions are running high.

Bonin and Buscaino’s proposal will now go before the L.A. City Council's Homelessness and Poverty Committee.