CITYWATCH - BIG TROUBLE IN THE LITTLE ANTELOPE VALLEY Written by Bill Boyarsky in August 2013, reporting on the Community Action League, which has gone to battle with the Lancaster - Palmdale area, which has become a Section 8 haven.
"In the late 1990s, African-American and Latino families arrived, many from black and Latino South Central Los Angeles, for the lower housing prices and freedom from violent, gang-dominated streets. By 2010, whites were a minority in Lancaster and neighboring Palmdale. Among the newcomers were poor people who rented homes and apartments with the help of a federal program paying a portion of their rent, commonly known as Section 8. Most of the renters were African-Americans. The number of black Section 8 renters doubled from 510 in 2000 to 1,119 in 2004 and rose to 1,530 in 2008...
Section 8 renters were particular targets of Lancaster city government, the county board of supervisors and the sheriff’s department.
With money allocated by the city and the county supervisor representing the area, task forces of up to 15 sheriff’s deputies and housing inspectors raided Section 8 homes, ostensibly acting on tips that illegal drugs were present or fraud was being committed. But really, they were aiming to terrorize residents into moving. Officers stormed into homes and searched them without warrants. They rifled through chests of drawers, went through belongings, threatened children with arrest and obtained the names and addresses of Section 8 recipients so they could watch their homes. Housing authorities tried to evict a woman suffering from stage 4 cancer who had her daughter and granddaughter stay with her at nights. She was accused of having unauthorized tenants. But higher authorities permitted her to stay. ...
read the whole article at the link.
There is no good reason for any law enforcement to go through a person's belongings unless they are suspected of a crime and there is a search warrant.
We feel sure that if a person is suffering and needs someone to stay with them because they are disabled - and many Section 8 voucher holders are - that telling the Section 8 people you are very ill, in pain, or otherwise in need of help, and that a family member or friend needs to be with you should eliminate the issue. Many disabled people also have paid care givers, some paid by the government to be there. A family member is usually not paid.
It becomes an issue when the person has MOVED IN without authorization. That means they no longer live somewhere else and their belongings are there with them, not a suitcase but all of it. Section 8 apartment living does not mean that you will never have guests or that you will never have a boyfriend or marry. The Section 8 apartment is there for you to LIVE in, not to be STORED in.
It is not up to local law enforcement to check this out. SECTION 8 HAS INSPECTORS to come out to inspect. Landlords sometimes have leases that allow them to charge more for an apartment based on number of occupants and the rent increase MUST be approved by Section 8 first...
If you are a Section 8 holder, just be open with your case worker about your changing needs. We know people who just write a letter stating something like "I am having surgery and will be in the hospital for a few days and then my mother is coming to be with me until I can get around."
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