A homeless man rejoiced after a Seattle judge ruled last week that his car is his home.
Steven Long has been living in a pickup truck he has been loaning from his friend since 2014. He works in construction and also uses the truck to hold his tools, Q13 FOX reported.
Long sued Seattle after his truck was towed for being parked in a spot for longer than 72 hours. Last week, the judge ruled Long’s car was his home and the city’s impoundment of the vehicle violated the Homestead Act.
The act “protects properties from forced sale – because Long was using it as a home,” the Seattle Times reported.
“If I paid rent, I’d be broke all the time and I’d be depressed,” Long said.
The decision could impact how Washington state enforces parking rules when individuals reside in their vehicles. It could also pose a problem for officers to determine which vehicles are being used as homes or not before impounding.
According to the Seattle Times, more than 2,300 people in the city are living in their cars.
Long’s car problems started in 2016 when the pickup truck he was using as a home was impounded for being parked illegally. He was forced to live on the streets where he became ill.
“Vehicles where people actually live and have to live, the city should show home humanity and respect for civil rights, the Constitution and should manage the situation that’s fair and lawful for the people living in the vehicles,” Ann LoGerfo, Long’s attorney said.
Long said he likes living in his truck and it helps him save money. He is living in a 1982 Chevy that runs so he can move it. He has not said what the future holds.
“I don’t really like to pay rent anymore,” he said.
The Seattle City Attorney’s Office told Q13 FOX: “The city disagrees with the trial court’s ruling and is evaluating its options.”