‘War’ Over Section 8? Lancaster Mayor Slams Giving Benefits To Parolees

LANCASTER (CBS) — A Southland mayor on Monday condemned a recent decision by Los Angeles County officials to allow probationers and parolees to have access to taxpayer-subsidized Section 8 housing ahead of seniors and the disabled.

City of Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris leveled sharp criticism at the approval by the Board of Supervisors’ 4-1 vote on April 3 that he said unfairly disadvantaged those families who have been waiting to receiving housing benefits.

“I am absolutely appalled and disgusted that the Board of Supervisors would allow felons to cut the line for Section 8 housing benefits,” said Parris. “People who have played by the rules, lead a clean life and have waited years to qualify for Section 8 housing now have to wait until criminals who are just out of prison take these valuable government-subsidized vouchers.”

“When you overload us with problems, yes, we’re hostile. We’re extremely hostile. We are fighting for our neighborhoods,” Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris added.

Supervisors Gloria Molina, Don Knabe, Zev Yaroslavsky, and Mark Ridley-Thomas voted in favor of the new policy, which also slashes the criminal history review period for drug-related and violent crime from three years down to two years.

Parris slammed the board for what he described as its apparent contradictory approach to public safety and welfare.

“What is also amazing about the County’s action is that it seems to fly in the face of their other recent Board actions where the Supervisors were critical of the state in dealing with parolee housing issues,” he said. “The County has the unique ability to speak out of both sides of its mouth.”

“They’re adding felonies to the people they’re going to be putting on Section 8 and we all know where they’re sending them. They’re sending them to the Antelope Valley. That’s why 20-something percent of them, or I think it’s up to 30-percent now are living in the Antelope Valley. That’s not fair,” he said.

The mayor also pointed to the murder of a respected Lancaster store owner by a parolee as further evidence that the Board made the wrong policy decision.

“Some of our hardworking families are going to be hurt and/or murdered as a result of this decision,” Parris said. “How can anyone say we are not in a war over how Section 8 is being administered in Los Angeles County?”

Members of the Inner City Law Center believe the mayor is misinformed and that the program is designed to get homeless people off the streets.

“If someone’s committed a serious crime, they would not be eligible for this program. Drug-related offenders are not eligible. Serious offenders are not eligible under this program. This is only going to affect people who have committed minor quality of life offenses,” Greg Spiegal of the Inner City Law Center said.

  • Corruption

    Is anyone shocked by this. California is on the criminals side, not good citizens.

  • Christina39

    LA really has hit a new all time low! Big Time! You people all jump on the wagon for Zimmerman, but then want crimianls instead of eldery and handicapped to get Section 8. There really is something wrong with you people.

    • Pasadenanative

      I hear what your are saying there. You have no productive worth in society if this reply is what you think an exchange of opinions is about. Either that, or you are a man with the arrested developement of a 12 year old…or maybe you are 12 years old.
      I am sure if all the cities mayors, and the State and Feds would get on the bandwagon and agree to kick out ALL Section 8 people who fail a DRUG TEST, you might find there will be plenty of space avauilabe for the elderly & handicapped!!

  • greg

    Hey wait just one dog gone rootin tootin minute!!!!! should the Illegals be allowed to jump first in front of the line????? OH wait a mintune I just answered my own question THEY ARE ALLOWED TOO!!!!

  • ginny

    Now this is a move that should have every single person in the county screaming. See, the only thing criminal in this State now is being a law abiding, person. The higher level of criminal you are the more rights you have. This should result in a lawsuit in my opinion.

  • Christina39

    I work with handicapped people as co-workers and they are hard working, law abidding citizens and I work with elderly people in their late 70s who can’t get subsidized housing and I work with a lady who comes to work every day in her wheelchair and the good ole USA is going to give housing to thugs who robbed and committed violent crimes. Am I crazy? or is everybody else?

  • Steve

    The answer is to remove every Supervisor who voted for this measure- Molina, Yaroslavsky, Knabe, and Ridley-Thomas, at the next election. The people have the power- it’s time to use it. With local election turnouts of under 30% it’s no wonder that this pro-crime Board of Supervisors feels that it can do as it pleases.

    • Christina39

      I say we don’t have time for the next election. Get rid of them now.

  • al

    why should i have to pay taxes for section 8 rent? pay you own rent!, if your paraplegic ok, if not leave los angeles county, go somewhere else where rent is less find a job or two and pay your own rent! taxpayer are getting tired of too much freebies like section8, afdc, wallstreet bailouts. you know what i mean…..its coming the economy is going to take a mega dive and there wont be any more freebies…in the meantime the media and politician are telling us lies…get ready

    • Christina39

      You may not know this smarty pants, but there used to be senior buildings and Obama six months ago, made these buildings into homes for criminals and the homeless, etc. Before that the elderly were paying rent for having the luxury of being around old people like themselves. This is what then fostered the desire to move away from the criminal element in the senior buildings which by the way, Obama decided was age descrimination. You say why pay taxes for Section 8. Section 8 was for the disabled and now it is for the criminal and old people started applying to get away from the criminals that Obama put into their previous senior buildings under Equal Rights.The Housing Authority was ahead of the game and has now come up with this new rules. Elderly and handicapped people are now living with criminals anre are no match for them. There is theft, partying, prostitution, cars being burglarized, etc.

  • SJ


    • Christina39

      Call me crazy, but can they do anything more to ruin this country? This is going nationwide and it is the senior buildings that are being targeted no section 8 apartments. Seniors have social security and small a pension, but the criminals don’t have any income so you are paying for them to live in senior housing. . The senior are at great risk because Obama banned the age requirement.

  • GTH

    I think the hand-bag is already sitting in hell….Burning.

    This is what happens when stupid people vote stupidly….You elect stupid people that vote stupidly. It is the sad refelction of the majority of Southern Californians…Dumb, dumb people. Those majority that do vote and those that don’t…Both dumb as a bag of rocks..

    • Christina39

      Crazy like a fox. They know exactly what they are doing!

  • No Vacancy

    Disgusting ! I own Section 8 rental housing in New Orleans and they DO NOT ALLOW CONVICTED FELONS on Section 8. And offering assistance to criminals over everyone else is Criminal. Guess i’m not going to invest in Section 8 housing in Los Angeles County. F that ! THEY SHOULD DIG A DEEP HOLE OUT IN THE DESERT AND BURY THEM ALL IN IT !

    • Christina39

      i live in a Senior Apartment. It was a beautiful apartment 55+. I couldn’t wait to turn 55 so I could move in. I work and pay full rent as did all the other tenants who either work and are over 55 or else live on social security and some on a pension too.

      I noticed that there were young homeless people in the halls, outside, etc. and then the crime started. I would be approached coming home from work for money and had other tenants tell me that these were new tenants under Section 8 under a new plan President Obama had to integrate homeless and ex-cons into senior apartments and eleminate the age requirement. There is noise, drunks in the halls and outside, “dumpster diving” and I and some other tenents had a meeting in my apartment and realize that we have to move to some place like Idaho, or whatever because there is definitely a motive to all this. The seniors are in danger. We all have ear plugs now and do not go to the pool area or clubhouse because it is like a hunting ground for criminals. There is some young women always outside with a can of beer hitting up all the men.

  • PBinLosAngeles

    Entitlement: The status quo in the Antelope Valley for those who don‘t want to work for what they get, and to say “its a little late“ would be the proverbial understatement. Someone better take a VERY close look at the pressure Steve Cooley’s office has put on the Supervisors to make this protocol happen; I can assure you, it has been heated!
    The Senior administrators – as well as the L.A. County Supervisors – should have come out harder and tougher in the mid to late 1980’s against the construction of the maximum security prison (and the thugs in the surrounding neighborhoods, like parasites, who moved there to be nearby their “incarcerated relatives“) that has been in Lancaster for over 20 years now. Many of the locals wanted Kern County to absorb Lancaster/Palmdale YEARS ago; wonder why? The neighborhoods have been demolished by Section 8 “residents” since Reagan was in office, when he cut the B-2 Program which resulted in the laying off 10,000 skilled workers who “walked” on their mortgages, opening the door for The Section 8 Kingdom known as Lancaster/Palmdale. The Antelope Valley had the “distinction” of being the number one area in the Nation for Section 8 housing, not long after the prison was completed. It used to be a nice place to live, the commute notwithstanding…..Blasphemous!

    • Christina39

      The people who make these laws sure don’t live by these laws in their gated communities. So hardworking people like me and my fellow hard working citizens who planned for their future have to live with their liberal laws which now are just becoming insane.

      • Christina39

        I am also glad to know that someone else sees Ronald Reagan’s culpability in all this. He had some ideas that sure backfired for the hard working middle class.

  • Doug

    We are losing America so fast because of these awful liberals it makes you cringe.

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