Section 8 Tenants Unwelcome
California Lawyer

Section 8 Tenants Unwelcome

The city of Lancaster declares war on federally subsidized renters, claiming Los Angeles County is steering poor Tenants to the Antelope Valley.

July 2012

photo by Vern Evans

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Preserving a Legal Theory July 2012




R. Rex Parris, mayor of Lancaster in the high desert of Los Angeles County, began his state-of-the-city address last February by praising his constituents. "We've done something nobody thought we could do," he said, pacing among the luncheon guests at the Antelope Valley Chambers of Commerce. During his four years as mayor, Parris claimed, the city slashed its crime rate by 40 percent. "I'm seeing people for the first time starting to believe it, that we're becoming something that is world class." Then without missing a beat the 60-year-old white-haired attorney added, "And there are a lot of people that would like to stop that progress."

Later in his presentation, Parris gestured toward a slide projected on the wall behind him. It listed statistics indicating that the 5 percent of Lancaster's residents who use federal housing vouchers to help pay their rent account for 10 percent of all arrests in the city. He speculated that Lancaster might even lapse back into having gang problems because of what he considers interference by the county with the city's campaign to police voucher holders. Turning to the table where Bob Jonsen, captain of Lancaster's sheriff substation, was seated, Parris asked, "It's becoming harder, wouldn't you say?"

"Absolutely," Jonsen replied.

Re-elected to a third mayoral term in April, Parris is best known for his administration's focus on one issue: the supposedly higher incidence of street crime in neighborhoods with large numbers of families that receive federal rent subsidies. The Housing Choice Voucher program, known as Section 8, was created by Congress in the 1970s to expand housing options for low-income families, disabled people, and the elderly. (See 42 U.S.C. § 1437f). The vouchers, which can be used anywhere in the country, cover most and sometimes all of the fair-market rent for a house or apartment (recipients contribute 30 percent of their income, and the government pays the remainder). Now one of the largest programs in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) with a budget of $18.3 billion in fiscal 2011, it serves 2.2 million households nationwide.

But a landlord's participation in Section 8 is voluntary, and the program is grimly oversubscribed by tenants - the wait can be years. Prospective recipients must undergo a criminal background check and, once moved in, are subject to unannounced, on-site compliance checks - they can lose eligibility if they violate program rules. For Los Angeles County's housing authority, the rule book is 235 pages long.

Elected mayor of Lancaster in 2008, Parris vowed to prevent the city from becoming a haven for subsidized tenants. Starting in 2007 the housing bust hit Lancaster and neighboring Palmdale especially hard - almost 18 percent of foreclosures in Los Angeles County were occurring in those municipalities, which split a population of roughly 300,000 residents. By the end of 2009 property values there had dropped by half, banks had repossessed more than 14,500 houses, and many sat empty.

The depressed local market, in turn, attracted Section 8 tenants seeking an affordable place to live outside the big city. In 2011 Lancaster alone had 2,233 Section 8 families - roughly 300 more than before the crash. And 84 percent of those families were black or Hispanic.

Lancaster and Palmdale responded aggressively to the newcomers, and sheriff's deputies and county housing inspectors stepped up Section 8 compliance checks. To the tenants, it felt like harassment.

As tensions increased between the cities and voucher holders, residents and a local community organization sought legal help. The Community Action League - along with individual plaintiffs, the Public Counsel Law Center of Los Angeles, and the NAACP - filed a race discrimination lawsuit last year against both Lancaster and Palmdale. (Community Action League v. City of Lancaster, No. 11-CV-4817 (C.D. Cal. filed Jun. 7, 2011).)

Parris calls the lawsuit's accusations of racial bias "deeply offensive and hurtful." He claims that he received more than 50 percent of Lancaster's African-American vote at the polls in April, and he points to loyal African-American supporters.

Chief among them is Bishop Henry Hearns, who heads a local parish and preceded Parris as mayor. "I know him, I know his heart," Hearns says. "I know his household. I know how young people - black, white, and brown - were in his house and out when his kids were growing up, and they were just like part of the family."

At the luncheon, Parris compared his response to the civil rights suit to the process for tempering steel. "What you do with metal is you heat it up and you get all those molecules just dancing," he said, wiggling his fingers in the air and grinning. "[Then] it cools down with all of the molecules lined up - a much stronger piece of metal that can withstand just about anything. I think that's where we are right now with all this Section 8 stuff. It's just boiling a little bit, and when it cools down we're going to have something magnificent."

Parris then projected a slide of Catherine E. Lhamon, lead counsel in the plaintiffs' suit, surrounded by plaintiffs and her co-counsel. "But until then," he continued, "the biggest threat to this city are the people using Section 8 for their own purposes, for their own political agenda."

In recent interviews, the mayor contends that Lancaster is the victim of a conspiracy to "dump" Los Angeles's poor into distant suburbs. "This suit was not created by the NAACP - [it was] created by the housing authority," he says. "This was a put-up deal by the County of Los Angeles, with the county counsel, to shut us up. That's all this is."

Not so, says Lhamon, who is director of impact litigation at Public Counsel. "I'm actually speechless at the suggestion," she said recently. "It certainly would have been unethical if that had happened, and nothing is further from the truth. ... Lancaster thinks the lawsuit is a fake. For me, that is Exhibit A for why Lancaster needs to be sued."

Earlier this year the plaintiffs negotiated an agreement with the county counsel, and Palmdale settled after U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright denied a motion to dismiss the suit. Lancaster is now the sole defendant. Parris, however, sees no reason for the city to fold.

"The plaintiffs woke up a sleeping dragon," he says. "They shot their shot, and it was a blank. And when I fire the gun, it's never a blank. It's gonna be fun."

To an outsider, the cities of Palmdale and Lancaster are an indistinguishable grid of wide boulevards lined by walls surrounding innumerable housing subdivisions. On the Sierra Highway, a major artery through the two towns, sits an aging hotel that serves kitchen-style dinners to guests and boarders. Its parking lot is full of pickup trucks driven by young men in cowboy hats and baseball caps. Nearby are a gun shop, a pawnshop, liquor stores, and a place to cash paychecks fast - and east of that is considered the bad part of town. The two cities abut Edwards Air Force Base and are home to a state prison, the Antelope Valley's parole office, and the county's largest probation camp for juvenile offenders. In the past, the area has been less than welcoming to African Americans.

Earl Wilson moved to Lancaster in 1963 when NASA recruited him to work as an engineer at a research center on the air force base. Born in Texas - where African Americans were routinely expected to "go in the back door to eat," he recalls - Wilson says he was taken aback by the racism he encountered in California. Despite his professional job, he couldn't find anyone in Lancaster who would sell him a house. "I was really shocked," he said, "I didn't think there was any discrimination in the Golden State."

Until the mid-1960s, black families looking to live in Palmdale were directed east to unincorporated Sun Village. But Antelope Valley's demographics began to change in the 1980s, driven by a previous crash in the real estate market that drew families from Los Angeles who hoped to get more house for their money. The Latino population increased by a third, and the African-American population doubled.

With those changes came a rise in white supremacist activity and hate crimes, directed mostly at African Americans. In 1995, members of a group called the Nazi Low Riders fired guns into a car carrying black people. Two years later, three youths were charged with murdering an African-American man in Palmdale in a bid to earn tattoos symbolizing white supremacy.

Around that time Bishop Hearns entered the political scene in Lancaster. He served on the city council before becoming mayor, and helped initiate the crackdown on Section 8 recipients in 2004. The city's campaign, however, produced resistance in the affected neighborhoods.

Emmett Murrell runs several group homes for troubled young people in Antelope Valley. He founded the nonprofit Community Action League (TCAL) in 2008 to address juvenile justice issues, but he says the group's focus changed to housing after two board members were personally affected by local Section 8 enforcement actions and a third started hearing complaints of a similar nature from members of his church.

Many of the incidents involved unannounced checks of tenants' residences in which sheriff's deputies accompanied housing authority inspectors. In October 2009, for instance, Sheila Williams received a visit at her Lancaster home from sheriff's deputies who said they were responding to a call about a possible burglary. There was no burglary, but Williams's son and his friends were at home. According to TCAL's civil complaint against the city, the deputies determined that Williams was a Section 8 recipient and called a county housing inspector. The deputies and the investigator searched the entire house together. A few weeks later, Williams received notice that her voucher benefits were to be terminated.

Michelle Ross, another plaintiff and the mother of five children, says her troubles with Palmdale also began in 2009. In an interview she recounted how her nine-year-old daughter opened the front door early one morning to find more than 15 sheriff's deputies standing outside. The officers fanned out through the house, guns drawn, looking for Ross, who was upstairs taking a shower at the time.

Responding to their pounding on the bathroom door, Ross got dressed and went downstairs. There the officers demanded to know the whereabouts of her 16-year-old son, who had been sent to a juvenile camp and was not due to be released for another three months. " 'Where's [my son]?' You guys should know better than I know," Ross recalls saying. "You tell me where he at."

Nonetheless, the officers said they were looking for a minor on probation and proceeded to search the house. Minutes later Palmdale's public housing inspector arrived and asked Ross to authorize a compliance check. She signed the papers, fearing that if she refused she would lose her rent subsidy. The officers combed over the property, concluded there were no violations, and left.

By the end of 2010, teams of sheriff's deputies and a housing investigator had inspected Ross's home four times. In January 2011 her family woke up to find a black-marker message scrawled across their garage: "I hate Section 8 niggers." Ross called the local TV station, which reported the story. A week later as her son was walking to school, a car full of white men drove up beside him and threw what appeared to be urine on him, yelling, "Dirty Section 8 nigger!"

Fearing for her family's safety, Ross sent her kids to stay with relatives and friends while she tried to find another place to rent. But once landlords learned she was a Section 8 recipient, she says, they wouldn't return her calls. Five months later the family moved into a rental house in Lancaster, where soon after a neighbor alerted Ross to a fire burning in the front yard. Like Williams, she has since moved her family out of the Antelope Valley.

Although his legal practice has made him a wealthy man, Rex Parris knows what it's like to struggle with poverty. Born and raised in a single-parent home in Lancaster, he says his mother relied on welfare payments to support her family. After "more than a passing relationship with the criminal justice system," he became a devout Christian, graduated from college, attended Southwestern Law School, and was admitted to the State Bar in 1980. In subsequent decades he raised a family and built the R. Rex Parris Law Firm, now an eight-attorney practice that handles personal injury, employment, and business cases. Not long ago he won a $370 million jury award for former employees of Guess? Inc.

In June 2008 - just two months after he was elected mayor - Parris instructed the city council to create a Section 8 commission to pursue a joint powers agreement with Palmdale creating a regional Antelope Valley housing authority. The commission would increase enforcement of Section 8 rules and draft an ordinance to limit the number of business licenses issued to landlords who participate in the subsidy program. Parris asked the council to develop "a means of making it very easy for neighbors to file nuisance lawsuits, with the assistance of the city, against group homes and Section 8 housing that becomes a nuisance, where the owners of the property fail to protect the neighbors."

More passionately, he told the council members, "I don't want there to be any mistake about this: We want to limit the number of Section 8 units. ... They've been dumping [voucher holders] at a much more rapid rate the last few months. They have totally ignored our plight up here, and it's time to go to war."

But two years after taking office Parris's plans for seceding from the Los Angeles County housing authority had been stymied, and the number of subsidized renters in Lancaster was holding steady. His aggravation spilled over at a June 2010 city council meeting, during a presentation by Dorian Jenkins, executive deputy director of the housing authority.

"Currently, 17 percent of L.A. County's Section 8 recipients reside in Lancaster," Parris began. "Doesn't that seem out of balance to you?"

Jenkins replied, "Actually, it reflects to me supply and demand. ... The clients go where there's a supply of housing."

Parris pressed the issue. "Does that mean the housing authority just chooses to ignore all the science that says if you populate the neighborhood with over 30 percent rental, the crime rates ... will increase? That the quality of living in those neighborhoods will diminish? If it gets to 50 percent, the neighborhood becomes unlivable. Are you telling me you ignore that?"

"No sir," Jenkins responded. "I'm saying the housing authority cannot prevent a client from moving anywhere they want to. Federal fair housing laws and HUD's restrictions do not allow us to direct or steer our clients."

Parris's concerns about crime are more than political grandstanding. For at least the past decade, Lancaster has struggled with a high crime rate. By 2006 it was 507 crimes per 10,000 residents - almost 200 points higher than the average in most U.S. cities.

No one argues more forcefully than Ronald D. Smith that crime and Section 8 are related. A former sheriff's deputy and Lancaster's vice mayor, Smith calls Section 8 "a failed program based on poor policy, and it is not managed properly. It is a system that is very, very much abused."

Smith says he's had personal experiences with Section 8 tenants in his Lancaster neighborhood. "I had a Section 8 house next to me, and it was the blight of the neighborhood," he recalls. "[The guy was] a convicted rapist, robber, drug dealing out of the house. It was hell. We sold our house and moved someplace else because of the torment."

As a sheriff's deputy Smith's duties included talking to landlords who were evicting Section 8 tenants. "I saw all the garbage, the trash, the crime - everything that was going on," he says. "We knew when there was dope dealing going on in these homes. ... I saw, with all the Section 8 homes coming in, that the crime rate went through the roof."

Elected to the city council in 2006, Smith focused on eradicating problems that he associated with low-income tenants. "The poor are not all criminals," he says. "But there's a lot of criminals who are poor, and they know how to abuse and manipulate the system. So if you have a high percentage of criminality within a certain sector, there is going to be a higher crime rate."

Smith and Parris are adamant that poor people are coming to the Antelope Valley because the Housing Authority of Los Angeles County is directing them there. Both men claim they've heard that the agency posted signs in its main office encouraging voucher holders to move to Lancaster, but neither official could provide evidence.

Smith's ideas are guided in part by Howard Husock's America's Trillion Dollar Housing Mistake: The Failure of American Housing Policy, published in 2003 by the conservative Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. Husock, director of case studies at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, argues that the unintended effect of Section 8 is to transport social problems into working-class communities, which depresses property values.

Parris and Smith also were influenced by "American Murder Mystery," a 2008 article in The Atlantic that mentioned statistical research by a husband-and-wife team at the University of Memphis. Criminologist W. Richard Janikowski and housing expert Phyllis Betts compared maps of crime incidents and Section 8 rentals in Memphis, and they discovered an overlap. "Nobody would claim vouchers, or any single factor, as the sole cause of rising crime," wrote Hanna Rosin, the article's author. "Still, researchers around the country are seeing the same basic pattern: [housing] projects coming down in inner cities and crime pushing outward, in many cases destabilizing cities or their surrounding areas."

The article made waves, and in response HUD commissioned its own ten-city study of Section 8 and crime patterns. Two and a half years later, in a report titled "Memphis Murder Revisited," researchers at New York University concluded there was "little evidence" that an increase in the number of voucher holders in a tract leads to more crime. Instead, they found, "voucher holders are more likely to move into neighborhoods when crime rates [there] are increasing."

"The widespread public sentiment that crime coincides with Section 8 is fiction," agrees Maria E. Palomares, Lhamon's co-counsel in the Lancaster suit and a staff attorney at Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County in Pacoima. "Its persistence in this country is based on entrenched bias against the poor and people of color, not research."

But long before the NYU results refuting the Memphis research appeared, conservative critics of federal housing policy had thrown fuel on the fire. And it burned hot in Lancaster. In 2010 the city's Section 8 Commission - later renamed the Neighborhood Vitalization Commission - began acquiring the names and addresses of Section 8 tenants from the local housing authority, which also provided monthly updates on the number of households dropped from the program. The city council urged sheriff's deputy units to patrol the homes of subsidized renters and monitor their compliance with HUD rules. The council also pressured the housing authority to make truancy by the schoolchildren of Section 8 families a cause for termination. Both Lancaster and Palmdale provided space for the housing investigator's office within their sheriff's department substations, which encouraged information sharing and "ride-alongs" by the inspectors. During the first nine months of 2010, sheriff's deputies accompanied housing authority investigators on 64 percent of their inspections in Lancaster and 71 percent in Palmdale. In the rest of Los Angeles County, this happened only 8 percent of the time.

Vice Mayor Smith got the local congressman, Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, to request that HUD approve a one-year moratorium on business licenses to landlords in Lancaster who accept Section 8 vouchers. The agency quickly denied the request, expressing concern that a moratorium "could be found to result in an unlawful disparate impact" under the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3631) because most of Lancaster's subsidized tenants are African American and/or families with children, both protected groups.

Smith chalked up HUD's response to inside-the-Beltway politics. "The Obama administration, being Democrats and actually believing in federal programs, view any attack on [the programs] as an attack on themselves," he says. "You can interpret those [housing] laws any way you want."

But Smith also makes a case that the formula used to set Section 8 benefit levels ignores differences in the region's housing markets. In Los Angeles County, subsidies are calculated by blending fair-market rents throughout the jurisdiction, which covers all but 18 cities and all unincorporated areas. Currently, a family of four that qualifies for a two-bedroom housing voucher can receive up to $1,319 a month. In Lancaster, however, that's enough to rent a four-bedroom house.

"What do you do when you create a fair-market [rental] rate that is 35 percent lower than it really should be?" Smith asks. "You create a situation where they're coming here in droves."

The civil rights complaint against Lancaster and Palmdale cites a series of agreements the cities made with the county housing authority, beginning in 2004, to fund three additional Section 8 inspectors. The plaintiffs allege discriminatory intent in Lancaster's creation of special sheriff's deputy units, and in public remarks Mayor Parris made associating Section 8 voucher recipients with rising crime rates.

The plaintiffs contend that both cities encouraged a policy of harassment and intimidation, putting Section 8 tenants under constant surveillance in an effort to force them from the Antelope Valley. This, they argue, violates the federal Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. §§ 3604, 3617), the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (Cal. Gov't Codes §§ 11135 and 12955), and the equal protection clauses of the federal and state constitutions.

Lead plaintiffs counsel Lhamon, who came to Public Counsel from the ACLU of Southern California, calls the actions taken by Lancaster a textbook example of intentional discrimination. "If anybody can bring that kind of case and win it," she says, "we can here."

Defense counsel at Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth of Newport Beach argued in a motion to dismiss that the plaintiffs had failed to demonstrate they were injured by the activities of Lancaster and Palmdale, or that the cities were vicariously liable for actions taken by the county housing authority or the sheriff's department.

But the complaint also includes a claim under the "disparate impact" theory, which uses statistical analysis to address subtle forms of discrimination that are "fair in form, but discriminatory in operation." (Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U.S. 424, 431 (1971). [See "Preserving a Legal Theory"]

The NAACP's involvement in the case apparently made government officials at every level snap to attention. After receiving a demand letter, for instance, Los Angeles County sought negotiations with the plaintiffs. And shortly after the complaint was filed, the county board of supervisors suspended funding of the additional housing inspectors in the Antelope Valley. Sheriff Leroy Baca released records related to his deputies' cooperation with housing authority inspectors. HUD notified Lancaster that it would investigate the accusations - putting at risk hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grants to the city. And the U.S. Justice Department announced it would launch a probe of race discrimination in the Antelope Valley.

In January the plaintiffs negotiated a three-year agreement with the county. The county pledged that sheriff's deputies would no longer routinely accompany housing inspectors on Section 8 checks, nor would the housing authority accept or provide funds for additional inspectors in Palmdale and Lancaster. The county also agreed to stop supplying the cities with names and addresses of subsidized renters.

A week later, Judge Wright denied the defendants' motion to dismiss - on all counts. Wright found that the cities' original agreements with the county for additional housing inspectors "sufficiently state the predicates for vicarious liability," and that the defendants' argument that they lacked authority over the inspectors or the sheriff's deputies "fails to consider [their] direct liability."

Within days, Palmdale agreed to settle. "There was really no penalty to settling," Mayor James C. Ledford says. "There was no admission of guilt. There was no financial penalty. Nothing was substantiated as far as allegations. But [the plaintiffs] had 21 attorneys working time cards they ultimately will want [the court] to assign to somebody. It doesn't serve the taxpayers. There's no end game here."

Parris, however, denounced Palmdale's decision to capitulate, saying it "gives comfort to criminals." The plaintiffs, he says, have little evidence of racial discrimination. "From what the complaint alleges, there is only one person [in Lancaster] who says [she] was harassed. One person. We have no facts supporting anything else."

In March, Lancaster defiantly filed a bias complaint with HUD, accusing the county housing authority of "unlawful and discriminatory racial steering practices." Attorneys from the Stradling Yocca firm argued that the influx of Section 8 recipients so strained Lancaster's health care system that "individuals have been denied necessary medical services because such services are simply unavailable." And since 70 percent of the voucher holders who live in Lancaster are African American and 14 percent are Latino, they concluded, the county's actions constitute "de facto discrimination because those actions have a disparate impact" on a protected class.

Lhamon calls Lancaster's administrative complaint - which HUD has since dismissed - "an unwise step" for a city under federal investigation and embroiled in a lawsuit. The move, she says, "points to its racial animus and the city's own bias."

Later that month Lhamon filed a third amended complaint in federal court, focusing solely on Lancaster's alleged civil rights violations.

Parris maintains that he won't settle the lawsuit, although the city's legal defense has already cost $1 million. "It goes to a fundamental principal of allowing people who are at least connected to criminal activity to thwart the city's ability to enforce law," he says.

The mayor says Section 8 enforcement checks in the Antelope Valley have all but stopped since the county withdrew funding for additional housing inspectors. And because Parris insists crime increased at the same time, he has turned to the sheriff's department for help. "Instead of it being just simply 'Section 8, you lose your voucher [for program infractions],' now we're looking at criminal activity and we're going to send people to jail," he says. "Who won? Nobody did."

Parris adds, "I do not think the mothers who are getting Section 8 - and who are being put into a situation where they're renting out to parolees or doing whatever criminal activity they need to do to raise their kids - should be considered criminals. I just don't. But now the county's made it so there's no alternative [to stepping up police activity]. ... The only people who lost on this are Section 8 recipients."

As a multi-millionaire who has just survived a brush with cancer, Parris says, he has nothing to fear and will do what he thinks is right. "What can they do? I will continue to say what I see and believe and know to be true. I don't care who it offends."

Victoria Schlesinger is a contributing editor at California Lawyer.

Reader Comments

lillian maloney - July 2, 2012
Hi Rex: It has been awhile, but remember "back in the day" when you used to call me "mom" in Superior Court in Bakersfield. Awesome article in California Lawyer. So good to read about you, it felt like old times. All the best. Lillian
Tammany - July 4, 2012
I stand with the Mayor. I find it disgusting that an 18 year old can go apply for Section 8 at 18 and sit on their behinds for 10 years and then get into a house. It's premeditated and planned housing. I feel the only people who should get Section 8 are Senior Citizens and the obviously disabled or educationally handicapped individuals. I have see homes, neighborhood destroyed by this and it isn't fair to hardworking families to suffer all that comes with it. Around the corner where we reside is a family living in a garage and you can see the Bed in there as they leave the garage open. There are many families in that home. Another house on the same St. was recently emptied, but not before the house was totally trashed. When you give something for free it's value is lessened and their is no pride of ownership. Keep up the good work Rex.
Jim Tanksley - July 14, 2012
As a long-time resident of Lancaster I can tell you that Rex Parris is not your typical politician. He's a larger-than-life figure right out of the Old West, with an ego as big as his bank account. Yes, he's arrogant. Yes, he has to win, as his billboards proclaim. And I hope he is mayor as long as I'm here. Parris has the guts to face down the bad guys, whether they are the Moguls motorcycle gang that he kept out of town, or lefty lawyers from Berkely trying to protect the Section 8 violators who are ruining our town. God bless you, Rex.
Marilyn Dalrymple - July 20, 2012
It's refreshing to see someone in a position of power with the courage to stand up and speak out. I wish more in positions of power on any level had that courage.
tiffany - July 29, 2012
Palmdale was the city i moved to as a first time renter. New to the area i moved from the northridge. I lived in my first apt for only six months in those six months i seen the police in my small building of 18 apt almost everyday. One day the police came in asking to search my apt. I had nothing to hide n allowed him in. I had nothing in my home but a bed and tv. Nothing in the kitchen. The officer asked how long i been there i replied about a month, then asked was i on the county or section 8 how do i pay my rent. I replied i work. And gave him wete i worked. He seemed shocked when i told him were i work and told me thats very good then began to tell me i live in the worst place of this city and there is foot traffic and wanted to know which door they go. I told the officer im not sure i have a six month year old and i kept to myself. Mean while other officer's were outside searching my boyfriend and little brother. They did nothing wrong, but they were actually looking for the drug dealer next door. There were about two drug bust after that and i was stuck in my lease. Finally i was able to get out of my lease for unhealthy living of the apartment. I understand the police do there job, but just because of the way people thing not all african americans who live out there are on the county. I do believe the county is abused, but by every race. For people who really need it are not approved and ones who dont abuse it. Palmdale and lancaster isnt a great place to live its cheap and a place to help any young mother get on there feet. Since then i moved back to northridge. I think the mayor is doing okay with crime. But still to many young kids are being killed. & the section 8 checks should be somthing that happens more often.
Jones - July 29, 2012
smith - July 31, 2012
I am a homeowner and wholeheartedly agree with Mayor Parris' stance and policy on Section 8. Individuals who own their homes do not want to see Section 8 renters in their neighborhoods. A couple that bought their home across the street from us, moved out of their new home after about 6 months and rented their home to a section 8 renter. The individuals did not work, were selling drugs, owned pit bulls, were allowing their pit bull to defacate in their garage, causing a pest problem in their and the neighboring homes. They had a child living there and he was often alone and would urinate outdoors. The male would play his rap music so loud that neighboring houses windows would vibrate and the bass could be heard inside. When they finally moved out, the owners told us they had demolished the home and when the new people moved in, they said the home was sooo filthy that it had to be bombed 5 times! People who accept Section 8 should not ruin it for other people who really need it. These were young and able bodied people who were riding the system and ruining our neighborhood. It is not about race, it is about laziness,criminal activity and filth-- this is what tax paying, homeowners do NOT want in their neighborhoods. We have a rainbow of races living peacefully together in our neighborhood, Black, White, Mexican, Asian, and Middle Eastern ---this is not a prejudice issue, this is a pride of place and investment, which people who get things for free do not have.
California Bay Area - August 3, 2012
I have neighbor who bought a foreclosed home and rented to a Section 8 family. The place has only 2 bedrooms, but I have noticed there are 2-3 families living there simultaneously. They are all below 50, and physically very fit. Their rap music is loud, TV is loud, talking is loud, dog barking all day and night loud. Government shouldn't put PETS on WELFARE because I doubt they pay any of the rent share, since all day and night they seem to be sitting on their couch talking, laughing, eating, and watching movies On-Demand, and their favorite reality TV shows back-to-back non-stop. The TV entertainment system is always on. I can hear every detail since the volume is always on 100%. They DON'T WORK!!! Yet they can pay for cable subscription, huge flat screen TV, numerous cell phones plus services, huge two SUV's one Ford another Cadillac with insurance. The 17 year old son drives pimped up car with new paint job and big rims. I am taking accounting courses at a community college, and one thing I learned from my class is that this Section 8 family's expenditures don't add up to their claimed low income status, meaning absolutely zero income. Let me be clear on one thing here. This is not a race issue, because I have THREE black neighbors who own and live in their house door-to-door next to mine living happily and harmoniously, except for the section 8 family. I hope Mayor Perris becomes an inspiration for a BIG change in America and guides the way to live upwardly mobile through hard work. I can understand the purpose for senior citizens and disabled individuals. However, this government-free-do-nothing program "with a budget of $18.3 billion” that “serves 2.2 million households nationwide" is literally depressing the already depressed housing market. This $18.3 billion can be better spent on providing government jobs for picking and sweeping the trash that these renters themselves scattered around with a $50/hour rate with full government benefits. At least they will have the meaning of the word “work.” There should be a quota on how many section 8 renters can live in a certain mile-
BRENT FERRIS - August 3, 2012
... What amazes me is it took THIS long to figure it out! Pundits, working through State, County and even local Government, have systematically introduced the new "High Desert Ghetto" onto the quaint antiquated streets of Lancaster and Palmdale. Palmdale, by no means, has escaped this travesty. They've just created a better "spin" as it were. But for Lancaster, it is far more noticeable. It also appears that, in keeping with what I have been led to believe, is a fifteen-year trend, keeping most of the "governmentally subsidized" within the East side of town... until 2008 that is, when all those million-dollar-plus homes, left vacant for too long, were then released for Section Eight. Yes folks, people who are second and third generation welfare families residing in million-dollar plus homes! At first, I had a feeling where, "gee, this family has been given a gift! To enjoy the bounty that they thought they would never see - and perhaps, be inspired to better themselves"! But if you understand the rules and laws of Government Subsides, you get the idea that "inspiration and engendering a desire to better oneself" is NOT in the equation! The only "reward" one would receive, in bettering him/herself, is to have their "mansion" taken away from them and be denied further Section Eight benefits! So, the "Cycle" of "Governmental Codpendency" continues and thousands of recipients, and the governmental bodies that co_exist with them, live happily every after! Rex Parris (I gotta find out what the "R" is), is wise in finally putting a limit as to how far outside government can go to create the "New Lancaster Ghetto"! I have a home on the Eastside of Lancaster. It was once a beautiful home in a beautiful area - and can still be that way - but we gotta get rid of the "broken window" and the Open avenue to those who break them!
Sasha - August 4, 2012
I moved to Lancaster in 2010 in a tract of homes that was 4 years old. Before buying the home I called myself checking out the area. I live on the east side near East-side High. Two weeks after moving in the problems begun. When school let out the fights were on my street. Then I started to notice that almost on a daily basis there were police cars blocking off the streets and dragging people out of their homes. I soon found out that they were section 8. Then as I begun to look around I noticed that the houses that had dirt as landscape or weeds were the houses that are rented. I'm so upset that my Realtor failed to inform me about this area. Because I'm black I guess she thought that it would be okay for me and my family to be surrounded by this madness, like I was use to this. I worked hard to become a home owner and now section 8 lives next door chillin. Can't move due to the prices of homes has dropped and I would lose to much. I have to be here for a while. But as soon as things pick up I'm out.
california - August 7, 2012
can you tell me if you get $441 a month from disability, does section 8 pay the full rent,because of your low income compared to ssi ($656)but i feel that they have to because of the state or fed laws about it can you tell me?in nj
Lopez L - August 10, 2012
The section 8 program should be only to help those in need. However I know people on it till this day 2 generation who are taught the same values. So what happens the kids dont have a sense of direction and dont move-on to better themselves. Were I live there are many homeowners and a section 8 family. Lets be real most section 8 people are disrespectful since they didn't earn it they dont care. They are loud at and no supervision for there kids and who is making out as a bandit is the Landlord while these people bring our neighborhoods shame and yes makes us think about selling and moving-on , But why I work hard and I'm the problem No! they need to settle down I only call it as I see it. Yes there are families who really need it and have a plan to get off the program soon. Rex I applaud you and keep doing in what you believe in your legacy will remain as he fought for what is right! Those people who say there are no jobs I say yes its tough in the real world do whatever it takes go down below and look for one or relocate if its not suitable here. The 14 is filled of commuters everyday and thats life at the A.V. Its sad I am really not trying to put down any family in welfare I was on that program before but I fought to get out of it and become what I have now not to much but dignity, If we dont control this Lancaster will mark my words go downhill because of crime. If ilegal aliens are working wherever selling fruits , flowers, or out on the field why cant you section 8 people you are Americans and who really have the means of working why dont you give yourselves a chance if not do it for your kids respect goes a long way try it you will appreciate it someday.
sleepy - August 26, 2012
i'm reading this article and the comments at 1:30 a.m. because my section8 neighbors will not let me sleep because of music and talking/yelling out side. to me, section 8 neighbors usually mean: interrupted sleep or no sleep. section 8 dislike is not a race issue, it is a class issue. there are loud disrespectful people of all races, and they all fit into that class. when i cringe at the thought of section 8 it is absolutely 100% not about race. i just want peace and quiet and sleep. that's what any normal person would want. if all section 8 recipients would just be quiet there would be no article here and i would be asleep.
Gail H - August 31, 2012
Mayor Parris is doing an excellent job. Section 8 is certainly a problem, seems to me too many younger, unmarried people are on it. I am older, sitting in my mobile home that burst a water pipe tonight & haven't money to fix. I applied for section 8 11 years ago when I became disabled & never hear a word from anyone. I moved to a senior park 11 yrs ago, now it's children welcome when the city council said it should stay a senior park. No one seems to enforce laws that pertain to seniors, it's all about crime & nothing else. They're not winning the crime either.
veronica - September 1, 2012
I sure hope mayor r rex parris can really turn things around and make lancaster a decent working class city. I'm sick of lancaster being a dumping ground for section 8 tenants. No wonder my home value is so low. my neighbor is on sect 8 and she sits outside near her garage while her kids play up and down the block. and she has company in and out all day. doesn't any body work? she also loads up her suv and disappears on holidays and holiday weekends. It's like,why work when you appear to have what the working class have? WE NEED SECTION 8 REFORM!! I had better neighbors in L.A. in the jefferson park dist. They were mostly retirees on my block. retirees that showed pride of ownership.and the L. A. house is more valuable than my lancaster house is now. It was the other way around when I bought the lancaster house in 2004.
Carol - September 13, 2012
One of the common themes about section 8 recipients I have read in many of the comments is the loud music and late night noise such as yelling. I agree that it is not a racial issue rather it is a multiigenerational pattern of behaviors. I have actually witnessed this behavior in my neighborhood. There are two homes in my neighborhood that are section 8 approved. Once a tenant moves, the house is destroyed. I watched the owners have all the repairs done which usually takes weeks just for another family to move in and do the samething. It is a vicious cycle. I remember one family had teenagers and at one point there was shooting at the residence. I commend the mayor for standing up and challenging the continued abuse of section 8. It is a real problem and not imagined. Thank you Mayor Parris. I will continue to vote for you.
Julie D. - September 13, 2012
We used to live in a building in Van Nuys called the Oxnard Capri Garden Apartments. It had beautiful landscaping surrounding the large open courtyard which was outfitted with patio tables & chairs which the residents could enjoy. Then the landlord started accepting Section 8. Within a year 90% of the units were occupied by Section 8 recipients & their families. Slowly the patio furniture started disappearing, storage lockers were broken into, cars were vandalized, & the landscaping was destroyed bit by bit until it was nothing but naked dirt covered in trash. The older gentlemen of the families would sit around at the patio tables playing backgammon & spitting sunflower seed shells all over the ground even though there was a waste basket not more than a foot away from the table. Once a month all of them would get together & rent a bus & go to Vegas where they would collect benefits from the state of Nevada. Calling the welfare fraud hotline was useless. It was ALWAYS busy. We finally escaped from there & eventually bought a house up here not realizing that the house next door was Section 8. Found out soon enough. Crazy alcoholic mother fighting with her kids, attacking them with a knife, breaking windows, pounding on our door at 3 in the morning. Sheriffs there almost every night of the week. Finally she was sent away to rehab & they were evicted. Next family: loud music, fighting, a drive by shooting, eventually a girl living there was murdered in the front yard by her ex-boyfriend who came from L.A. somewhere. After them another family. Loud fights at all hours of the day & night, a pitbull that bit my husband & gave him a staph infection in his leg, eventually they broke up & moved out. Next family: loud kids shooting pumped up air soft rifles in the backyard scaring the bejabbers out of our dog, eventually one day the Sheriffs came, arrested 2 or 3 men out of the house, and now they're gone. If this landlord keeps renting to Section 8 he's an idiot. We used to have gangs of teenagers roaming the streets; you know the kind who walk in the middle of the street & won't move out of
Jackie .b. - September 17, 2012
I don't even no how to start. But let me say that I'm very concerned about some of the post that are on here. Some of this stuff is so far fetch that its not funny. You all need to stop throwing all these stones never have I moved anywhere and new that my neighbor was on section 8 unless I inquired. I think if people did like in the old days which means worrie about the place you pay your money for and quit worrying about the next man. Unless you have a solution to help your neighbor. And I no I got to be specific because Im going to have some silly jerk trying to now act silly and "say what does she mean ". Well I mean if you cant help leave them along if it dosnt concern you. Stop looking for answers outside your home. Stop wondering how they got that car,big screen,or if there dealing or on section 8 etc. unless it effect you leave people along. I've been here since 09 it's a nice place to live. I've had two diffrent neighbors move next to me it's been trying but I've learned everyone is diffrent. I have a lot of thoughts and suggestions for my neighbors. But I keep them to myself And no there not on section 8 and they dont work and there also loud,they collect trash like nobodys business and there hoarders and there not black or Hispanic so with that being said stop judging that book by its cover thank you all for reading a little bit of the truth of Lancaster.
posting again - September 23, 2012
How do we know if tenants are on Section 8? The homes they are living in were foreclosures not too long ago. (Quiet, respectful people were forced out) The homes went up for sale, then for auction. Then the owners and/or property managers ("carpet bagger" investors) could be seen there, with their expensive-status-symbol vehicles parked out front. Then...loud, trashy, disrespectful, partiers moved in- people who appear to be unemployed or underemployed. How could a low income family possibly afford such awfully high rent? Maybe I'm wrong, maybe they have some incredibly successful, lucrative home-based business. We all know that investors love to rent to Section 8 recipients because of a huge chunk of guaranteed money that isn't paid late. We are just putting together clues. THAT's how we know. Oh, I should add that some owners even put signs out front which say "Section 8 OK". I am not jealous or resentful if a poor person owns a big tv or nice car. That is of no concern to me. But no one can argue that there is not a disproportionate amount of neighborhood-ruination going on at the hands of Section 8 assistance. When I and my family cannot rest during the day or sleep at night, that concerns me. Noise is against city codes and common courtesies- look that up on the Lancaster city website. I will call the Sheriff for noise even when I don't suspect the residents are on Section 8. Section 8 isn't a 'deciding factor' in whether or not I call or report someone.
Joanna - September 25, 2012
In Lancaster you need to have a license to rent out a home. Anyone can call the city license dept. to check if an address has a license to rent. If not, ask the city code dept. to send someone out to check and possibly fine the landlord (or the bank if it is a bank owned property). If you want to know who owns the house, call the assessor's office and give the address. If you want to know which bank owns the loan of a house, you go to the county's office (Norwak) in person and check it out. If you want to know if the house is up for sale at the auction before becoming a bank owned property, go to All of this is public record. I moved here in 2009 and liked the fact that people are friendly and it is affordable, despite the bad reviews about the crime rate. I am happy to see that the city is making an effort to make this a better place. I am happy that the Sheriffs come when I call about the undesirable activities that goes on next door. Any kind of subsidies should be reserved only for the elderly and the disables. Unfortunately, it is easy for many to get housing subsidy and welfare, which makes people lazy... Why should I work for $2000/month when I can sit at home and get $1500/month? Whether people are section 8 or not, they should be respectful to the neighbors. If they cause nuisance to the neighborhood, pls, pls, pls call the police, the city code.... It takes yrs to make things better, but if you do not call it will go on forever...This is what I have learned. The city clerks and the sheriffs I have spoken to in person, have ALL encouraged me to (in their words) "call and bug them". I will from now on and I suggest everyone does.
joanna - September 26, 2012
Here is a very good article. I hope the city will be able to chase away these people. There are a lot of activities going on at the corner of K4 and 32nd street West. So pls watch and get together with your neighbors to make your neighborhood safer and crime free.
Shelley Hurt - November 7, 2012
Hooray for Mayor Parris for taking a stand against what could be one of the greatest scourges of our time. I live in what was once a beautiful suburb of Phoenix and, in an attempt to "clean up" and revitalize Phoenix, the mayor pushed a large percentage of the African American population into Section 8 housing created in the suburbs. The Section 8 homes have been trashed inside by angry unintelligent people. As an investor, I've seen what they do to property when forced to leave for whatever reason, which lately, has been foreclosure of the property. Just vile unspeakable things. The only reason the exteriors of the homes still look okay is because they are in HOA-controlled neighborhoods and the owners had to keep up the outside or face fines. They seem to have no respect for anyone and still apparently carry a chip on their shoulders. Gov't. assisted housing has outlived it's purpose as it is being abused and unregulated. We need more of the type of policing that Lancaster has implemented, and I hope they prevail.
Anna West - November 11, 2012
isn't that what background checks are for i have section 8 and my family has a clean record between me and my husband i know its not common but there are decent people that make wonderful neighbors it is discrimination but i do believe you have the right to thoroughly investigate people's criminal history and have the right to refuse to rent but you don't have the right to base it simply on section 8 recipients that is straight discrimination there is a balance people.
go - November 19, 2012
I think this Mayor is great! I live in the south n took over an elderly relatives property managment. I am blown away by the scum on Section 8. It needs to be revampted. It is a haven for criminals. I was told they do background checks,that is a joke. After being attacked by one, and another being VERY pushy, I did a background check on one that showed up. She had 3 assault charges since 2010, drugs, shoplifting...etc. but she was being paid for 100% by HUD and was very able bodied with no intention of working. I wish people in the south would stand up to this like Parris has, but the NAACP holds them down. Shame shame, we are a country rotting from the inside out.
Cindy - December 8, 2012
There are to may people out there milking the system on section 8 and can work. Why are they getting away with it? And the middle class people are paying for them. NOT FAR. THE WORLD IS OUT OF HAND. TO MANY PEOPLE WHAT MONEY GIVING TO THEM FOR FREE AND DONT WANT TO WORK. SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE
Dennis Teel - December 8, 2012
from what I read of tis mayor he's awesome.wish there were more like a minister,i am not racist and tell the truth when I say that section 8 is not about's a class not every single person receiving section 8 benefits is of low class behavior but definitely the majority from what I've personally lived around and experienced.of course those on section 8 will argue that.i expect them to.i've experienced tons of sleepless nights and broken locks and car vandalism as I lived in apartments that were government subsidized for complex for 4 years another for 7 years as well as 5 others ,all since 1981.only two of those 5 I mention were not section 8 and very little crime (next to none actually)occurred in those the entire time I lived in them.and yes,the section 8 complexes were predominantly minority(Hispanic and black)reidents while the two 'safer' ones were dominated by white residents.this is what immediately raises the issue ,by many,of racism.i guarantee you,that minorities realize that predominantly minority based areas are higher in crime than predominantly white areas.facts aren't racist.but this is embarrassing and intimidating to minorities so they're prone to be defensive and argue if the topic is raised.i don't blame them really as it's a sad fact of life that they're forced to live with.i've learned not to argue with people regarding these facts but instead to just remain as a resident outside those areas.i currently live in a rural city of about 15,000 people,predominantly white,the city only owns 5 cop cars and generally uses no more than 2 or 3 at a time and often i'll notice just one car out on patrol late at night(i'm a night owl as I sleep days).virtually free of crime,it's a very country-ish environment.
janet quinn - December 16, 2012
i waited eleven years for section 8. im a senior on disablity. i had no problems untill new landlords took over. i had a freind sitting on my couch and ran to to new landlords say i have alot of people living there.i do have a few freinds that are commpassionate about my condition of agrophobia and panic.and thank god i had a few male freinds that would help me fix things because they get furious and have to fix something.they have all there own race moving in and ineighbor that was my freind when her husband got fired had a lets gang up on janet party for being on hud and have neigbors lieing to landlord about me. snitches . in the nine years i lived there always on time with rent freindly and doesnt say in hud rule book you cant try to live normal lifeand and have freinds. none of them in nine years had a visitor. is that normal? mistake number one is telling anyone your on hud. in this economy ready to kill us all lots of jealousy and hatred judgement. the one worst snith to tell landlord just picked up and left the county. and people not on hud make as much or more noise.and allowed to sneak as many people in there apt.had one party and if it bothered them so much they should of called the police. police would of found nothing wrong maybe give a warning to quiet down.but they went straight to hud. didnt have an attorney and was denied. on disability. no family that offers help. stole all my joy the whole summer. scared to death. landlords dont even want me to have a roomate t help pay full rent. a freind finally stepped in to pay for an attorney because he doesnt want me pushing a shopping cart at 57 on disability and she said i only have a fifty fifty chance. before disability worked hard and have always been a good person. hud or not. i dont think any apt should be a prison because they all have an antisocoal disorder. its been hell. never sued anyone but i think this falls under fair housing laws pain and suffuring intimated to ask for any mainations repairs. paid into the system for years. made my anxiety condition way worse. im borrowing a computer so i would apprciate a c
Debbie - December 18, 2012
My neighbor is on section 8, not only is she lying about the number of kids she has to get more $$, 2 men moved in with FT jobs. Now I see that SHE HAS A JOB working for cash at an assisted living facility. 5 of us have reported her to HUD, DCF, our Congressman and the Governor. Nothing has been done. If you want a FREE RIDE come to florida. Lie, cheat, and steal from the taxpayers and get away with it! I wish Uncle Sam would pay my mortgage.
Teferet - February 25, 2013
Their is a saying who says whom ever is ignorant and with money or not will always finds away to take away the rights of others. Must of the times people coming here from other countIes and stay to become setizen they work hard and do every thing a businessman dose but they loss some and they gain some . we all know rent is very expenses in some places and you can not afford it dose it make them criminal. Why don't each person is not evaluated separately without became a victim of diScrimination because they need what is they right. After all America made out of emegrants.
Anonymous - March 26, 2013
I used to live in Palmdale/Lancaster in the early-mid 2000's and never have i felt any discrimation. I am a young african american female with 2 children. I applaude ReX Parris for standing up for the Antelope Valley. This has nothing to do with race it has two do with able bodied hand me down generation to generation voucher holders who dont appreciate anything!. I just happen to work at a Housing Authority in my home state Illinois. Everything on this thread is true. Section 8 people are LAZY not all but MOST. They think they are self entitled people who have accomplished nothing. They come in with the LV BAGS, COACH PURSES, HAIR, Nails are done with name brand clothes but claim no income. Why do i have to pay 1300 rent while these people live on Michigan Ave with zero dollars yes I said Michigan Avenue. It's sickening our government has turned a blind eye. In my City crime has risen on the southside because of tearing down "Projects" and sending people people throughout the city in the masses. This programed has alot of uneducated ignorant people that frankly dont want anything in life but how much there "voucher is worth" This program rewards people to do absolutely nothing they give them free housing, Utility Checks, Camp Vouchers, pay to go to college, paid internships, free coats, Christmas gifts the list goes on. Why do anything when u can get it all for free I guess it's the "New American Way" Rex Parris come to Illinois!
lynn jackson - April 15, 2013
i have read every thing that the people sad about section 8.. well i'm on section 8 and it is not by choice i had amental break down and my husband left me, i can not help my situation but i to deserve a nice home to live in ...not all section 8 people live with roaches and rats and sell drugs.. belive it or not some people on section 8 are cleaner than u and some more intelligent than u .this is not your world u are not any better than the next person, who 's to say that tommorrow your feet wont fit their shoes. so don't put your nose to far up in the air - July 3, 2013
Pretend you doing busy with a company, misc, and then after year's of going through the motion’s (as a customer, misc, doing your part per the business arrangment), you learn of ill business, corrupt practice's within and amidst whom your doing business with" and thus, the student's being - financial commodities, misc. Now it may not seem like (? This and/ or that), even a no brainer or old news or misc. But Below is the best summed up way I thought I could break it down per / via my situation, misc.? HUD, ie: local Section 8 low income tenant housing program I was in = (5 - 7) year's, ie: 2004 - 2007 apt building near "LACC", Melrose and Santa Monica, Los Angeles; and then (2008 - 2010) - 2600 W 8th St, Los Angeles (=) me, like the (above) business example. I learned of the long time history of factually documented, illegal, ill business, corrupt practice's amidst HUD on from on a local level (the corrupt as well local housing authorities AND that of the local code violation enforcement agencies, being: Building and Safety, Los Angeles Housing Dept, Los Angeles Environmental Health Dept, AND that of the inspection dept amidst the local housing authorities - (themselves), as well as that of HUD (as a Whole - Washington DC, ie: now former head of HUD: Alphonso Jackson, previously busted and fired with no reaped or rendered consequence's, ie: federal prison or federal restitution, thus, was just (?) slapped on hand and sent away out of HUD, for his act of federal embezzlement, for which when gone, former head of Small Business Administration - now head of HUD: Shaun Donovan < being thus far, just as weak, misc as Jackson before him was corrupt). ? As with learning, misc myself of (above), and knowing I have - a deep, keen, utmost and utter respect for business - (itself), and as such, and due to other related circumstance's involved, ie: my back up against the wall, misc; I deemed I could not continue to further disrespect myself, hence, by allowing myself to be continually involuntarily subjected any longer, unto such disregard, blatant, lack of legal, misc proper business ethic's, like the City of Bell scandal for example, or even the City of Detroit, re: their Mayor, of same (above), embezzlement, misc like civil and criminal activities. ? So, I chose to vacate myself from and out of (any) further housing business dealing's with HUD (on a local level and as a Whole), ie: HUD being just another One of the worst federal corruptive enterprise agencies of and amidst this nation. And still today, so many involved with HUD local Section 8 low income tenant housing program, whom deem they can no say nothing out of fear of being blacklisted, retaliated against, or worse, hence continuing to live in and amidst less than habitable, misc residential rental low income housing unit's, existent with illegal code violation's, as the local code violation enforcement agencies take sides more with the landlord than any tenant. I saw that on more than enough of occasion's than I can recall, as to why I just couldn't do it anymore, despite I had no where else to move to, misc ie: my back up against the wall, misc. And despite tried and exhausted effort's, thus, unsuccessfully secured inquiry for service's for and with local Los Angeles free legal assistance organization's. ? My (then) conclusive recourse, if any, was to a) just put all my stuff and belonging's in personal self storage (ie: 2007 - current / present total so far: over $6,000, though monthly averaged about: $104 - $108 a month for 5' across from left to right x 9' deep - from front entrance of the storage unit to the back wall of the storage unit x 10' tall / height. ? And b) that I'd be homeless (over 2 year's now, until I can secure a rental room arrangement with someone). that being why, when I discovered the video's of me on your website which 1) I forgot that we did those year's ago, and 2) which is fine with me, no problem. But emotionally for me, which I think you can understand, watching (myself) in those video's, it's been self acknowledging that I know I was never this ill exposed and tainted, loosely said. ? So watching those video's of me, was if even minimally, a sort of comfort and insight, that I self validatingly - had a life, was housed, and again - certainly was not so ill exposed and tainted as I've emotionally become over the last 2 year's amidst homelessness, just wanting to get back on my feet, ie: a hand up, not a hand out. ? Despite though I have not yet sadly found One decent person to secure a rental room arrangement with. And so I self ponder that I just don't know - ? a) how longer my unsuccessful, lack of housing, homeless circumstance's may continue, ? And b) how I deem ironically that I have to, example, go dead inside myself in order to focus on daily hanging in there, minimally progress with what day to day task's I can accomplish, and continue searching and networking to find someone that hopefully I could secure a rental room arrangement deal with, therefore, moreover, I'd eventually self heal and recover, which is kindly nice to contemplate if I can achieve finding someone I could secure a rental room arrangement deal with. There’s bartering or misc deal’s all over out there, ie: a evening / nightly couch or floor in exchange for voluntary work by someone such as myself, and if ideally I knew say 5 – 7 people, ie: 1 person, 1 day or misc a week, misc per / via some pre-discussed arrangment, (=) a evening / nightly couch or floor + maybe a shower < if needed and One gets voluntary work done, misc. For (?) local residential civilian’s to do nothing, put it off on some local non profit or city, misc agency or misc to deal with or misc, what is that? When Jesus says: “They know not what they do”, though people speak His holy name, expecting Him to (???); is anyone kidding me, and we wonder why maybe this or that is exhibited anywhere all around us, cause regardlessly, there is no valid easy, misc answer unless to ill appease One’s ego, misc, hoping (?0 will just go away. Huh, Really. Whew, wow, unbelievable. Any valid truth, as if to say what (?) really wish they no wanna hear, and (?) is telling One, misc to just shit up, go away, disappear, that their kind isn’t wanted – around (these part’s, area)? Whew, wow. And Jesus sits there watching all this. He no have to do NOTHING! All God ever wanted to do, is just create something, but no, that was never enough, was it? Think about it. It is THE HUMAN’S that need to do something. Jesus/God
susan morgan - July 30, 2013
section 8 was created to help white people move away from the black people that were now by law sapose to be equal.white people made a come up with all types of aide and little to no rules. it is hard out here in america and people should not be treated like trash because they need government assistance that's why we have a government!as long as white people are getting away with dirt they want everyone to be silent but people are tired of being quiet about this huge race issue 'the white flight" in the 70's there were more white people on section 8 and government assistance.they were then assisted with better job opportunity because somebody knows somebody that can help you get in. the black people were then allowed to move into the projects as the whites moved out into nicer section 8 homes and the white people became home owners from the hand people were then allowed to join the section 8 band wagon but not until after it had all the rules to make you feel uneasy in your own rental home. now in 200 black people found out section 8 helps pay a mortgage but by now the struggle has caused bad credit or no credit,stress from poverty,family falling apart and trying to work but cant make that much money or you will be kicked off the program and back to the poor house,if you had to pay the high rent landlords are allowed to charge in order to take full advantage of the section 8 program that probably paid for the house the are now renting on section 8. I said all that to say this yes black people are made to look like the criminal all the time. but it is the white people that has been leading this country based on race for 1000's years and as long as it's meant to keep the brother man down the world will continue to suffer. don't think it's a secret.that's why black people are angry.
Jeff - August 19, 2013
Thank God for the sequester! For the first time major defunding of this communist program. In October even bigger cuts and the start of voucher resinding! Praise Jesus! I'm voting Republican for the first time in my life next November so more tea party people get into the house and senate and kill this program once and for all. It should only be for Seniors 62 and over and the disabled. Time to take our neighborhoods back! Contact your represenitives and tell them to support ending this program!
Toni clark - September 4, 2013
im here because my section 8 was wrongfully snatched, officer walanski & officer parrisse pulled my car over an said i had a broken tail light out, an found $5.00 worth of marijuana! these sheriffs then whipped out there phone an called john o'neil the investigator for section 8, an asked him if i was a tenant, he replied yes an i lost my voucher from this incident, i was profiled becaused i had financed a chrysler 300 2005, they impounded my car an treated me horribly, i was in distraught ,they had me come to Antelop Valley Court were they informed me that i will be terminated from this point, i could not believe what was happening, i did not deserve this harrassment, i did not have any felonies, i was a foster parent with children services, i was jumped on an an my arm was broken in two places in my left arm, by some gang members of lancatser,penny lane had refferred my family to victims of crimes an sherly amoguchi denied us for any service, how do i get passed being attack by lancaster sheriff whomm made sure i was homeless, an by there gang members whom broke my arm in 2 places, im am now being seen by mental health because, i have always been a good person, when rex perris came on t.v an said if you wanna losse your section 8 just move to lancaster i thought that was not real, as a matter of fact he held his position! an now im findn myself apply for ssi because my son is 24 an hes been diagnosed with paranoid schizaphrenia, he was not like this until we became homeless,my kids dad was killed on the job in 2000, my son was 10 years old an his sister was 17 yr old, the judge told alfred hampton to pay me an my 2 kids a wrongful death lawsuit an then rex you come rt around this , while im grieving an make us homeless, man this hurts , so thats what made me join t-cal an fight you that awawy because if i had of responded the way i wanted i would be in jail, loss my fiance, loss my section voucher an im back an forth from cal city to lancaster because my grang kids live here im on the bus back an forth im homeless an i can;t deal with being your target anymore, i am one of the women that was profiled, you made my life a horriffic challenge,an my son has to be seen by mental health as well, i just had an appt yesterday sep 3rd, i spoke with vera, at avcc clinic on 10th st west, you have ruined our lives, do you like sleepn outside, well i got up an came to my uncles house for a shower an some food i helped him get a place to have because my uncle is 70 years old an he was targeted 2, as soon as he came to see me i was being put out of my section 8 home an he had no were to go either. the pain im feeling rt now is over whelming, an plus i have a son thats on medication now an hes 24 year lod, we have been to hell under your thumb, but not any more im a desent God fearing women an ive been homeless with my section 8 since 2008 0r 2009 them officers did not care if i was a united states citizen or not, im tryna find a place now because i get 200.00 a month now from general relief an nobodys gonna rent me a room, i had a home until you had it snatched away, you know i almost was raped out in the antelop acres out on 100th ave j, why did i have to be in a sleepn bag outside to ashame to ask to rent a rrom when i have always paid my rent in my section 8 house i had rented, now another section 8 teneat is living there it truly ashame i was targeted by your firm to, i gave you 2 cases put money with your company, an you did not have a heart to help me out but you did accept my money thou, jessey at your firm on 10th st w , cheated me an told me not to expose priciple melnick i see y some people act out, but im just gonna share my story to any an everyone i come in contact with you really effected our lives, i can't trust you as a mayor an i will vote you out for hurtn somebody that went to college to become a foster mom. thanks for not caring my num is 661 433-4885. im sick from all the profiling, an misconduct that the sheriff did to me an dedee holms. i had 2 other people in my car an your sheriffs officer parisse an officer walanski help you target me an alot of other low income minorities you are one hell of a bully, i hate you! pain releases pain .
V. Porter - September 25, 2013
Is this article peer reviewed?
mary - October 5, 2013
i want to share a testimony of my life to every one. i was married to my husband george morgan, i love him so much we have been married for 5 years now with two kids. when he went for a vacation to france he meant a lady called clara, he told me that he is no longer interested in the marriage any more. i was so confuse and seeking for help, i don't know what to do until I met my friend miss florida and told her about my problem. she told me not to worry about it that she had a similar problem before and introduce me to a man called dromoba who cast a spell on her ex and bring him back to her after 3days. Miss florida ask me to contact dromoba. I contacted him to help me bring back my husband and he ask me not to worry about it that the gods of his fore-fathers will fight for me. He told me by three days he will re-unite me and my husband together. After three day my husband called and told me he is coming back to sought out things with me, I was surprise when I saw him and he started crying for forgiveness. Right now I am the happiest woman on earth for what this great spell caster did for me and my husband, you can contact dromoba on any problem in this world, he is very nice, here is his contact, He is the best spell caster. call him on +2348076826545.
Larry Miller - November 22, 2013
This is why the civil rights act of 1963 was an utter disaster. At the time I was old enough as a teenager to know we as a country would pay a serious price for the stupidity of the likes of Senator Kennedy, LBJ and all those other liberal freaks who decided to shove this lousy legislation down the billpayer's throat. Congratulations liberals. You've transformed the United States into another Uganda
angela phillips - December 2, 2013
I remember the time when I lived in quartz hills I never thought that the police would be at my door at 7:00 in the morning I had my section 8 voucher for twentyeight years . I moved to Lancaster to start a new life with my family. I had no problem until mayor perris became mayor of Lancaster. I never thought in a millions years I would have my voucher taken. When the police came to my house I peek open the door and behold thepush open my door and had me and family to sit on the couch a d had camera all on us. Which I thought it was not call right for the way they did things. I was not aware of the section 8 sweep. I don't think its wise for another person who can live in or out of your home. I feel that the only thing I agree to something like that if you are children molester or if you have people running in and out all day long and the neighors start complainting. Now I can see I that way. I not have have a car or my house laid. No I lived a happy life until I got my voucher taken. I moved out of state, because I would afford the rent out their. That statement that the mayor had made. He did say he would make it hard for to live in the antelope valley and thought it was wrong in what he said. Sometimes I pray that I can get my voucher back, because I fell that everyone desire to raise their family where they like and no one should be aloud to be treat like animals. Go after the one that are live in large, ride around in lexis or their house looks like it came best house maginize. Stop trying to control our lives.
kite - January 6, 2014
I lost my 5 years relationship during October 2013. My ex left me with so much pains and since then i have been heart broken and shattered. I have contact many spell casters and they rip me off without any result. I have Emailed so many sites online looking for a good spell caster till i was directed by a 22years old girl to Dr.okalo At first i never believed him?but after i did as he directed my ex came back to me, and now he never cheat on me,he love and respect me. if you have any problem i quickly advice you to contact him now on this email: , i assure you that once you follow his direction all your problem will be solve and gone forever.
james - January 30, 2014
My Name is JAMES.I will love to share my testimony to all the people in the forum cos i never thought i will have my girlfriend back and she means so much to me..The girl i want to get marry to left me 4 weeks to our wedding for another man..,When i called her she never picked my calls,She deleted me on her facebook and she changed her facebook status from married to Single...when i went to her to her place of work she told her boss she never want to see me..I lost my job as a result of this cos i cant get myself anymore,my life was upside down and everything did not go smooth with my life...I tried all i could do to have her back to all did not work out until i met a Man when i Travel to Africa to execute some business have been developing some years back..I told him my problem and all have passed through in getting her back and how i lost my job...he told me he gonna help me...i don\'t believe that in the first place.but he swore he will help me out and he told me the reason why my girlfriend left me and also told me some hidden secrets.i was amazed when i heard that from him..he said he will cast a spell for me and i will see the results in the next couple of days..then i travel back to US the following day and i called him when i got home and he said he\'s busy casting those spells and he has bought all the materials needed for the spells,he said am gonna see positive results in the next 2 days that is Thursday...My girlfriend called me at exactly 12:35pm on Thursday and apologies for all she had done ..she said,she never knew what she\'s doing and her sudden behavior was not intentional and she promised not to do that was like am dreaming when i heard that from her and when we ended the call,i called the man and told him my wife called and he said i haven\'t seen anything yet... he said i will also get my job back in 3 days time..and when its Sunday,they called me at my place of work that i should resume working on Monday and they gonna compensate me for the time limit have spent at home without working..My life is back into shape,i have my girlfriend back and we are happily married now with kids and i have my job back too.This man is really powerful..if we have up to 20 people like him in the world,the world would have been a better place..he has also helped many of my friends to solve many problems and they are all happy now..Am posting this to the forum for anybody that is interested in meeting the man for can mail him with via I cant give out his number cos he told me he don\'t want to be disturbed by many people across the world..he said his email is okay and he\' will replied to any emails asap..hope he helped u out too..good ONCE AGAIN HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS: THANKS FOR DR ogidigbi
Mary Jane - February 3, 2014
Hello to every one out here, am here to share the unexpected miracle that happened to me three days ago, I came across a post online talking about how she got her ex back to her with the help of the great spell caster who happens to be high Dr Odudu that he helped her though i never believe this because i was just wondering how could this be, but i gave my self hope and i contact the spell caster. this is the unbelievable that has happened to me this December I was happily married and we had three kids, we lived together as one because we both loved each other but before i knew it, my husband started acting funny and cheating on me later on, he told me that he cannot continue with me so that was how he left me and my three kids without nothing but there was nothing i could do to stop him or bring him back to me I work so had to pay the children's schools fee and other responsibility i did this for good five years. I cry all day and night because i don't know what else to do to have my husband back to me until this faithful day i saw the post from one Miss Mary Jane Walker testifying how the high priest helped her to get her ex back I just wanted to try my luck because i never believe it will work but to my greatest surprise, am singing a new song i contacted the great priest on 2nd of December and he told me not to worry because once he finish caster the spell, that i will get my husband back the unbelievable happened on Friday when i got a call and I was surprise to hear my husbands voice apologizing to me that he is so sorry for keeping alone and came back home and we are happy together again wow, i really appreciate your good work great Dr Odudu God bless you and your good work for there is nothing else i can say than to tell the world about you. So if any one is out here seeing this post and you have similar issue like this,i advice you to contact him in any kind of problem like 1 if you want your ex back 2 you want to be rich 3 if you always have bad dreams 4 you want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever 5 herbal care 6 Financial assistance 7 you want to be promoted in your office. 8 have you been scammed and you wanted to recover your lost money And any other problem you encounter in your life. worry no more and contact the only man that can help you this or call +234-706721-7903
shayla - April 23, 2014
I think it is wrong for the mayor and sheriff to pick on people who receive section 8. If they don't like the privileges awarded to people through section 8, then they should try to change the law. I think going after the defenseless people is kind of cowardly. Get the laws changed regarding who can receive section 8 but stop attacking the poorest of the poor.
dana - May 6, 2014
me and my 5 keds had living on checksion 8 for many years,them da poleice done comes to my house and day take away the the heck am a ta visit me swetie in the prison aint eazy for me coz now my an the keds go back to the hood:( I gona miss my 5 bedroom home :(
The Conscious Advocate - May 12, 2014
Unless the Mayor has evidence that Los Angeles County Housing Authority is STEERING low income individuals and "Section 8" tenants or other subsidized individuals to the area, it is ARGUMENT FROM IGNORANCE. There are Section 8 tenants living county-wide in all areas and continue to be ported to other affluent and less affluent neighborhoods. Perhaps the real challenge for the Mayor and similar ignorant perceptions by prejudicial politicians, is strengthening the criteria and resolve of those that are conducting background checks on subsidized participants. Respecting the systemic process of weeding out those that would abuse any system is crucial to the appropriate management of any city!!! "ACCOUNTABILITY IS NOT AN OPTION... IT'S AN OBLIGATION!"
Robert L. - May 14, 2014
This Section 8 disaster is happening all over the country. In Illinois thousands of former Chicago Public Housing Authority residents were moved to downstate towns into public housing there and Section 8 rentals. The crime rate in nearly every downstate Illinois town with over 10,000 people is now much higher than the national average due to these new residents. Danville, Decatur, Peoria and Springfield have been destroyed and Champaign-Urbana and Bloomington are going very bad also. The Democrats' socialist utopia is the law-abiding working person's nightmare.
CAD - June 14, 2014
I am a disabled grandmother raising grandchildren. My home is spotless clean as is the yard. I am very involved with my childrens education and well being and make sure they have all their needs met and are well taken care of. We live in a nice neighborhood and I am part of neighborhood watch. My landlord is always impressed with how beautiful I keep my home as are the inspectors that come out once a year. Yes that's right I receive section 8. Ive never been in trouble with the law, never used drugs or committed any other wrong doing. I have excellent references and I don't see why I should be labeled or punished for being on the program that I definitely need. I don't want to live in a trashy neighborhood I take pride in who I am. Im not bad because I need some help.
Aaron - June 18, 2014
I am on section 8, and I work part-time while going to school full-time. I take very good care of my home (my apartment), and am one of the best tenants that my manager has ever had, section 8 or not. I have also gone out of my way to obtain several medical certifications (first aid, CPT, to name a few). Kinda throws a bunch of holes in your "ghetto welfare family" mentality, doesn't it? If you want to fix the welfare problem, you have to fix the society. You have to have enough jobs and enough opportunities for under-privileged people to move up. Otherwise, they're going to stay poor and keep getting benefits, no matter how hard they work. A lot of people think that hard work alone is enough to break the cycle of poverty. Here's a hint: it's not. It may have been that way in the past, but these days, where big businesses are raking in billions from the hard work of minimum-wage earners, you have to have a fair bit of luck on your side to succeed. You're welcome.
David - June 20, 2014
People poasting here said they are "good Section 8" people. Well, I am "poor" by the government standards also and I could easily get a Section 8 subsidy for my apartment or get "disability" payments based on medical problems. But I won't. I work and pay my own way. That's the moral thing to do. Before the 1960s government welfare payments or "relief" were thought of as a temporary bridge, to get you over hard times. I know because my grandparents received small payments for a time during the depression. And my father worked as a social worker for the Cook County (Chicago) department of welfare in the 1950s, visiting homes of those receiving welfare to make sure they were trying to find work and GET OFF IT. Now we probably have a quarter of the U.S. population receiving government welfare benefits of some kind (excluding retired people receiving earned social security benefits) - EBT cards, Section 8, AFDC, and on and on. We are going to have a 20 trillion dollar debt when Obama leaves office. We are headed for an economic disaster because of this debt - default or massive inflation. So no thanks, I'm not going to contribute to the problem. An the majority of people I (and my landlord) have encountered who are on Section 8 do NOT take care of the property and cause all sorts of other problems for the landlords and the neighborhood. They have destroyed the property values in some towns. My landlord says he will never rent to Section 8 tenants again after awful experiences.
TruthInSociety - July 10, 2014
Section 8 is one of the worst programs ever thought of! It allows FOREIGN investors to buy homes that were CONFISCATED by banks from working-class American families. Then these same families are forced into crowded apartment complexes or they end up homeless. What's worse is that the FOREIGN investors (from China and Saudi Arabia) rent the homes that belonged to the working class out to ghetto dwellers on Section 8. So, in essence, these FOREIGNERS are being paid by our government through the voucher money they're receiving. To make matters worse, the imported ghetto dwellers have no decorum, no idea of middle class values, no work ethic, no motivation to treat the homes they are living in with care and no respect for the work/sleep hours of their neighbors and they all seem to have a horrible sense of entitlement, so they essential DESTROY the neighborhood. I HATE SECTION 8 WITH A PASSION! IT IS A SLAP-IN-THE-FACE TO THE TAXPAYERS AND WORKING-CLASS PEOPLE OF THE U.S.A. !
Han Solo - August 10, 2014
The people commenting about section 8 on this blog are very misinformed. As someone said, it is up to the landlord to do background checks so if they put someone bad in there blame them. Next, only 30% of section 8 people are families or single. The rest are disabled, elderly. So when you hurt the program you are actually keeping the disabled from living in your community. There should be a law against discriminating against section 8 tennants. If you pass the background check you should be able to rent anywhere, not just in the slums of states that allow discrimination (which is most of them). I am a college educated disabled person. Why is it that barely any landlords offer single bedroom apartments to section 8 people so we become segregated to lower income slums. This is wrong. And for your information, section 8 people have to pay 30% of their income for housing so they do pay something. This stuff about them not paying anything is wrong. Also there is usually a minimum rent of $50 per month. If you are renting a decent house you have some kind of income that is going towards it. Although I imagine families might have more generous subsidies. If you don't want thug families living on section 8 then tighten up the requirements but don't hurt the people that really need it (elderly and disabled).
Marisa Martin - August 29, 2014
HELLO: my name is Marisa Martin, i want to testify to the general public how my ex lover was brought back to me by the great power's of dr Ekpiku after three months of loneliness and not talking to each other, my ex-lover called me after my contact with dr Ekpiku that he want us to come back and start a good home, now we are happily married with two kids. All thanks to dr Ekpiku for his spiritual help. You can contact him on his email if you have similar problem, or any solution you may need. job, divorce, promotion in you place of work, healing spell,money spell,protection spell,lottery spell,pregnancy spell can Contact him via

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