- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 21, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - A judge has ordered that homeless families in the District of Columbia must be placed in apartment-style shelters or hotel rooms whenever the temperature dips below 32 degrees.

D.C. Superior Court Judge Robert Okun issued an injunction on Monday in favor of the families. They filed a lawsuit last year over the city’s practice of placing families on cots in recreation centers on freezing nights.

City law guarantees shelter to homeless families when temperatures are below freezing.

The judge also granted class-action status to the families who sued.

City officials had previously argued that a law that became effective in 2015 guaranteed families the same rights to shelter that the lawsuit sought, but Okun rejected that argument.

Estimates place the homeless population in the District at more than 7,000.

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