A federal judge in Los Angeles has ordered the city to find homes for everyone currently sleeping rough on Skid Row.
The order was made after numerous Los Angeles residents and community leaders filed a suit calling on the city to provide shelter for the homeless population, The Independent reports.
Skid Row has one of the largest homeless populations in the US, while shocking figures from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) show that 1,383 homeless people died last year alone.
In a lengthy order published on Tuesday, Judge David Carter took aim at officials while condemning the number of homeless people - and homeless deaths - in the city.
The report read in part: "Los Angeles has lost its parks, beaches, schools, sidewalks, and highway systems due to the inaction of city and county officials who have left our homeless citizens with no other place to turn.
"All of the rhetoric, promises, plans, and budgeting cannot obscure the shameful reality of this crisis - that year after year, there are more homeless Angelenos, and year after year, more homeless Angelenos die on the streets."
The judge said those living on Skid Row should be housed by 18 October.
Attorney Skip Miller, representing Los Angeles County, responded to the ruling to say it went 'well beyond' what those who brought the suit had asked.
Miller added: "We're now evaluating our options, including the possibility of an appeal."
Meanwhile Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer didn't comment on the plans, saying they were being 'reviewed'.
Speaking at a press conference, Feuer said: "We just received this massive order from Judge Carter.
"We are reviewing it as I speak today, and we'll have more to say about it in the near future, but today I will just indicate that we're still analysing the court's ruling."
Carter ordered officials to find housing for every woman and child on Skid Row within 90 days, while every homeless person in the downtown area will be homed by 19 October.
LAHSA data shows there were more than 66,000 experiencing homelessness in the Greater Los Angeles area in 2020.