The Los Angeles City Housing Authority is to be found in a lawsuit filed by tenants living on Skid Row. The housing authority was sued for allegedly failing to maintain the health and safety of its residents, making their lives nearly unlivable.
The lawsuit claims that LAHA has been aware since at least May 2013 of problems with sewage leaks and clogged sewer lines but continued not make repairs or take other necessary steps to address these issues.
While some people may feel sorry for those who live on skid row, this article reflects upon how many people are only allowed there because they’re too poor pay market rent elsewhere while paying significant taxes into government coffers as well as helping cover the costs associated with serving them through programs like welfare and subsidized housing .
If you haven’t heard about it yet, the Trump administration’s budget proposal includes an effort to push low-income individuals out of public housing if their family income exceeds $200K per year: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/03/23/trump-budget-plan–public-housing–low-income–homelessness–socialismlgbtqcommunityguestcolumnistarthurkimbrell/)
The “la skid row housing” is a problem that has been present for a while. Tenants in taxpayer subsidized housing on Skid Row are battling unsanitary, unsafe living conditions.
DOWNTOWN (CBSLA) – LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Despite the fact that the taxpayer-subsidized flats were meant to provide a haven for individuals who had been living on the streets, residents of Section 8 housing on Skid Row stated they were forced to live in filthy and unsafe circumstances.
Overflowing garbage and rubbish in the stairwell of St. Mark’s Apartments (CBSLA).
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Erica Sanford and others who reside at St. Mark’s Apartments said they believed nothing could compare to living on the street, but that circumstances are just as awful, if not worse, with concerns including a cockroach infestation.
“There are at least three or four dead when I get home.” “They’re sometimes living and slithering in the drawers or closets,” Sanford said.
Sanford and her 3-year-old son Peter, who has Down syndrome and is medically frail, reside in the units.
“I maintain things as clean as I can, but it’s never enough since this facility has been plagued by issues for years.”
Residents requested assistance from CBSLA in 2019 after the building’s lone elevator had been out of service for about a month, limiting individuals with mobility concerns to their rooms.
“It’s like being imprisoned in your own house,” remarked homeowner Steven Wiley at the time.
Following CBSLA’s coverage, the building’s owner, a group named The Skid Row Housing Trust, said that the elevator will be refurbished to bring it up to code. Residents say nothing has changed in the last two and a half years.
“It’s simply not hygienic.” It is filthy. It’s not safe, and I don’t feel secure going in and out of the room with my infant. When I’m there, I feel like a prisoner, as if I’m barricading myself,” Sanford remarked.
Sanford and her son were contacted by CBSLA, who saw excrement pouring in the toilet and on the floor. The stairs was overflowing with rubbish that had been left in the halls. The building’s floors were filthy and worn, and the public kitchen’s equipment were caked with muck and grime.
There are also additional aspects to consider.
Photo of needles left on the ground at Skid Row’s St. Mark’s Apartments (CBSLA).
A security door at the building’s entry wouldn’t remain locked. Mentally sick and inebriated persons are known to stroll from Skid Row and into the building at various hours of the night, leaving needles and drug paraphernalia behind, which tenants have documented. Intruders who were nude and aggressive have also been reported by residents.
“I’m simply on high alert.” Sanford said of her kid, “I am constantly on high alert because I have to protect him.”
Inside the building, CBSLA discovered mold in the showers and on the walls, as well as flaking paint on the ceiling and windows without safety screens on the fourth story. In the communal area, there were even dead rats.
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“We are all human beings,” says the speaker. We are entitled to better. “No one should have to live in those kinds of circumstances and feel trapped,” Sanford added.
When Sanford was qualified for a Section 8 voucher and given residence at St. Marks in 2015, she was living in a homeless shelter.
“They said I could decline it, but it would be another building in the same neighborhood.” So I snatched anything I could because I couldn’t stand living in the Mission any longer,” she said.
Bryan Smith has been a resident of the building for three years and claims to consult a psychiatrist due to the living circumstances.
“If you ask me, they’re subpar, if not subhuman.” Nobody should be forced to live in the circumstances that we do,” he stated.
Section 8 housing must be clean, safe, and livable, according to federal law. If it isn’t, the building’s financing may be revoked. The circumstances within St. Mark’s were reported to the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles by CBSLA. They issued a statement that reads as follows:
“HACLA offers federal rental assistance to residents of Skid Row Housing Trust’s St. Marks and St. George units” (SRHT). Federal requirements demand that the landlord keep the units, including common spaces, in decent, safe, and hygienic condition in order to receive these rental subsidy payments on behalf of the tenants. HACLA inspects these apartments once a year, and both of these buildings were examined this week. At each location, deficiencies were identified. SRHT must remedy the majority of faults within 25 days. Several flaws at the St. George must be addressed right now. At the time of the inspection, SRHT employees were on site at the St. Marks, fixing issues. If SRHT fails to remedy the flaws by the timeframes, SHRT will suspend or cancel rental subsidy payments until the defects are addressed. The inspection findings and requirements have been communicated to SRHT, and HACLA is working with them to guarantee compliance with federal rules.”
Residents of St. Mark’s are suing the Skid Row Housing Trust in a class action tenants’ rights lawsuit, claiming landlord mistreatment.
“Where is the money going?” says the narrator. Because the government is paying and the renters are paying, it raises the question… Where is it going if it isn’t to maintain the building?” According to attorney Troy Pearson.
Meanwhile, Sanford said she is seeking for another place to live and that she is on many waiting lists.
“No one has contacted me, and there is no place for me to stay.” I know something is out there, but no one is willing to assist me.”
When residents complained to management about the living conditions, nothing happened, according to CBSLA.
Skid Row Housing Trust, for its part, informed CBSLA:
“We were told of an interview with tenants at one of Skid Row Housing Trust’s complexes on February 14th, 2022. We take our residents’ health and safety very seriously, and we respond immediately to any claims or concerns that are brought to our notice. We will always fight to ensure that all of our residents have the supportive housing they need, and we will always be dedicated to the communities we serve.”
Sherri Papini, who was accused of faking her own kidnapping, has been released on bail.
The housing trust has just experienced a change in higher management, according to a representative, and the organization vows to respond fast to any concerns brought to its notice.
The “skid row housing trust address” is a non-profit organization that helps to find affordable, safe housing for the homeless in Los Angeles. The organization has been struggling with unsanitary, unsafe living conditions for years.
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