According to a report by the San Francisco Examiner, City Council members have made some changes to the county’s vehicle habitation law. For the past 20 years, it has been against the law to live inside a vehicle, police said, but a recent ruling that found the ordinance was unconstitutional forced elected officials to re-think their position.
The new law states that a person will have to be found to be engaging in several unlawful activities in order for them to be cited. First, the person would need to be found to be preparing food or sleeping in their vehicle. Second, officers would need to observe the person is storing bedding, personal items and/or cooking equipment in their vehicle as well.
The mayor of San Mateo says this is less about arresting homeless people and impounding their cars, but more about providing intervention services geared toward helping this person get off the street. He also points out that since 1995, no person in San Mateo has been fined or arrested for living in their vehicle.
San Mateo Police will enforce the new ordinance.
Original article: San Mateo amends vehicle habitation law