LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF CALIFORNIA WANTS TO STOP THE CRIMINALIZATION OF POVERTY AND HOMELESSNESS

For Immediate Release

November 26, 2019
The Libertarian Party of California (LPC) believes government policy frequently takes aim at the problem of homelessness, but too often suppresses voluntary localized efforts to address the issue, depriving people of support that would otherwise exist. Government should not impose rules that penalize poverty and homelessness, while simultaneously criminalizing voluntary efforts of assistance.

Mimi Robson, Chair of the Libertarian Party of California said, “With Thanksgiving upon us homelessness is in the news with people gnashing their teeth about what ‘government’ should do to solve this problem; unfortunately, they continue to do nothing for the marginalized homeless population. It’s time to take a different approach that will help those in need while maintaining the rights of property owners not to have their homes and businesses disrupted by tent cities.”

The LPC supports community efforts such as providing need-based short or long-term shelter, training in useful skills and crafts, personal hygiene, nutrition and wellness, addiction recovery, psychiatric services, and other beneficial programs by individuals and private institutions. Instead of spending billions of dollars on expensive building projects that are narrowly focused and not helping those truly in need, governments should support mutual aid and community programs. We propose the following to support the most vulnerable members of our communities, and remove obstacles in creating affordable housing for all:

• Reforming laws and regulations to eliminate unnecessary restrictions, taxes, penalties and costs of assisting the homeless (e.g., home and meal sharing, micro-businesses and tiny homes)
• Similarly reducing and eliminating restrictions on the use of private property for shared or short-term tenancies (including restrictions on subletting, Airbnb, etc.), and restrictions on construction of new housing units including eliminating unneeded zoning laws that prevent the construction of low-income housing
• Reforming police training and procedures towards guiding the homeless to sources of support in their local communities while still allowing enforcement of laws protecting public health such as laws regarding public defecation
• Donating or below-market leasing of state held lands for the benefit of our communities for developing accessible housing projects to help get people off the streets with projects like the 1993 Dome Village in Los Angeles
• Providing tax credits for projects that reduce dependency of the homeless on government services.

Peter Moulds
Libertarian Party of California
+1 916-446-1776