Villaraigosa ignores recent agreement with residents and appoints HACLA Commissioners without community input
On Thursday, despite a recent agreement with community residents to make the L.A. Housing Authority Commission appointment process more inclusive, Mayor Villaraigosa announced four replacements to the Commission.
This was done exactly one day after the Mayor’s office, in a meeting with representatives of LA CAN and the L.A. Human Right to Housing Collective, agreed to consider and interview potential replacement candidates from a list put together by the Collective, which is composed of community-based housing organizations and hundreds of residents of HACLA-controlled Section 8 units and Public Housing developments.
According to the Los Angeles Times, on Monday, June 6, commissioner Ray Mathoda resigned as the terms of two other commissioners, Tunua Thrash and Maria del Angel, expired on the same day. This was one week after HACLA Commission President Beatriz Stotzer resigned. Yet, rather than taking time to consider candidates proposed by those actually living in HACLA-managed properties, Mayor Villaraigosa, according to CBS2 News, immediately turned around and appointed four new replacements who will “begin immediately.”
It is important to make clear that while the sudden replacement appointments were a surprise, the growing spotlight on HACLA is not. The LA Right to Housing Collective has been working for months to comprehensively reform the polices, procedures, and leadership of the Housing Authority. Former HACLA CEO Rudolf Montiel was actually fired in March in large part due to his attempt to evict nine tenants from their units for demonstrating outside his home as part of a Right to Housing Collective action. The evictions were later rescinded.
Community residents from across Los Angeles pushed for reform, which led to these resignations and Montiel’s firing. And they will continue to pressure the Mayor’s office to appoint a CEO and Commissioners that will be accountable to residents of public housing and do more to better serve their needs. Calls and emails have already by the LA Human Right to Housing Collective to the Mayor’s office demanding that Villaraigosa interview and consider individuals from their list of potential replacements before moving forward with the replacements.
To read the CBS2 story, click HERE.
To read the Los Angeles Times story, click HERE.