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LA City Council prepares to regulate boarding homes in 2014



Four people were shot dead on the front lawn of this crowded home in Northridge in late 2012. Officials called it an illegal boarding home.
Four people were shot dead on the front lawn of this crowded home in Northridge in late 2012. Officials called it an illegal boarding home.
Erika Aguilar/KPCC

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Rules to regulate boarding homes in Los Angeles will get a fresh look in January when a new committee of the city council finally gets down to business. 

The Ad Hoc Committee on Community Care Facilities met for the first time Wednesday to outline the pitfalls of regulating houses that may be home to veterans, disabled Angelenos, recovering drug users and alcoholics, and formerly homeless people. 

"This is the beginning of a new process," said Councilman Mitch Englander, chair of the committee. "It's exciting because we have an opportunity to provide protections for those most in need and vulnerable in society." 

The committee will receive input from the Planning Department and City Attorney's Office as it drafts new ordinances to regulate where, and how, boarding homes can operate. Last January, the L.A. City Council delayed a vote on a drafted ordinance after community groups, including the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, said the law would have unintended consequences. 

"We want to make sure and ensure that they're ... protected as well — the communities are protected but the very people who are living in those establishments are checked on," Englander said. "It's creating that balance and that balance of fairness."