A Seattle judge has ruled that if you’re living in your car, then your car is legally your home and exempt from police impounding, reports the Seattle Times. Citing Washington State’s provisions of the 1862 Homestead Act, which protect against government confiscation of property, Judge Catherine Shaffer found that Seattle police had acted improperly by seizing the truck of a man named Steven Long and effectively forcing him to repurchase the vehicle, which he’d been living in.
The report also points to a recent Washington court ruling which found that a tent could also be considered a home, two decisions that together could have a significant impact on the rights of the state’s homeless population. The piece is the latest in a Seattle Times series called Project Homeless, which examines the myriad facets to homelessness in America, as well as highlights efforts to combat the issue.
Relatedly, a recent investigation by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson uncovered widespread discrimination against homeless veterans by rental companies, who were refusing to honor HUD-provided vouchers to help pay for housing.