Feb 7, 2024 - News

DeSantis backs homelessness bills

A homeless person sleeps on a city of Miami bench.

An unhoused person sleeps on a bench at Museum Park in Miami. Photo: Pedro Portal/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Gov. Ron DeSantis expressed support this week to proposed legislation that envisions creating designated areas within cities for unhoused people to reside.

What's happening: The bills would ban local governments from permitting unhoused people to sleep on public property, except for designated areas that do not impact property values or public safety.

  • The zones would be required to have restrooms, running water, security and access to mental health services. Drugs and alcohol would not be allowed.

What they're saying: DeSantis, speaking in Miami Beach, said the bills were still a "work in progress," but he wants to move unhoused people off the streets and give local governments funding to house individuals and provide treatment, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Zoom in: Ron Book, chairperson of the board of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust, told the Times that the legislation was a good start but that Miami-Dade would never have mass encampments.

Catch up fast: The city of Miami faced backlash when it proposed relocating unhoused people to tiny homes on Virginia Key. That plan was scrapped.

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