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Councilwoman Perry Seeks City Oversight of Housing Authority
Oversight Ordinance Ready for Review and Discussion; Ordinance Result of Concerns with HACLA Dating Back to 2009
Los Angeles—Councilwoman Jan Perry announced that her motion requesting that the Chief Legislative Analyst work with the City Attorney to draft an ordinance that would allow the city greater oversight at Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) will be heard in the City’s Housing, Community and Economic Development Committee early next year. The draft ordinance has been completed and is ready for a public hearing.
While concerns about HACLA have recently been raised, Perry’s concerns with the Housing Authority began in 2009 when she introduced a motion calling for greater oversight at the agency for fear that the agencies actions resulted in the loss of vital dollars to house those in need. Beginning in 2004, HUD had conducted numerous audits at HACLA and identified various problems and issues that needed to be resolved in order for the City to continue to receive millions of dollars for affordable housing programs.
The failure of HACLA to adequately address these issues over several years concerned Perry: “For far too long, the Housing Authority has been allowed to operate in a vacuum, devoid of any input or oversight to ensure that the dollars they receive are being allocated and maximized for the benefit of those that need it the most. Affordable housing is not a luxury, but a necessity. We cannot afford to allow HACLA to continue without greater oversight.”
Currently, the Cooperation Agreement between the City and HACLA does not require Mayor or Council approval of funding or policy actions taken by the Commission, making it virtually impossible for the City to intervene on behalf of the people of Los Angeles. The ordinance drafted at the direction of Perry would give the city the ability to approve or reject budgetary actions taken by the board.
“It is just common sense that we move forward and adopt an ordinance that allows us to assert jurisdiction on actions of the board to prevent misuse or the perception of the misuse of funds in the future,”added Perry.
The draft ordinance will be heard in late January/early February of next year.
Councilwoman Perry represents the Ninth Council District, which encompasses the most culturally diverse and vibrant communities in Los Angeles, including Bunker Hill, Little Tokyo, and South Los Angeles.