Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Q&A: Default and federal workers

Posted at 01:10 PM ET, 07/27/2011

Q&A: Default and federal workers

The deadline for the Obama administration and Congress to reach an agreement to raise the debt ceiling is fast approaching, and there’s a real possibility that those efforts will fail and the government would have to default. So where does that leave the federal workforce, retirees and the military?
Because the situation is fluid and unprecedented, there are far more questions than definitive answers in Washington’s latest budget crisis. Here’s the Fed Team’s list of those questions and answers.
You can also read the transcript of an online chat on federal workers and the debt ceiling crisis. Do you have something to share? Tell us.
Q: Is this the same as a government shutdown?
A: No, but those shutdowns offer the only precedent for what might happen in a default.
Shutdowns have been caused by a lapse of appropriations—failure to pass laws needed for agencies to spend money. The most recent happened in late 1995 into early 1996.
In a shutdown, employees whose jobs are not considered emergency in nature are put on unpaid leave—that is, they are furloughed.
Emergency employees continue to work because even when agencies have no operating cash, the law allows them to incur spending obligations for the safety of human life and the protection of property. They work without pay, at least for the time being.
In contrast, when a debt limit is reached, an agency can continue to make commitments to spend, according to a Congressional Research Service analysis. That might mean it could continue to incur the obligation to pay employees in the future for work they currently are doing—that is, keep employees on the job.
In shutdowns, employees of self-funding entities such as the U.S. Postal Service are unaffected and the same presumably would be true in a default situation.
Q: Would I keep working if the government goes into default?
A: That’s unknown. The government would continue to take in money from taxes, but only about enough to pay about three-fifths of ongoing expenses. That would force the government to choose what to pay for. One option could be to furlough large numbers of employees, though that would mean disruptions in the programs they work on.
In any furloughs, employees whose jobs are emergency in nature seem most likely to be kept at work. When a government-wide shutdown was threatened this year, all but about 800,000 of the federal government’s 2.1 million executive branch workers were designated as emergency employees. Even among emergency employees, though, agencies might make distinctions over just how vital they consider certain jobs to be.
Q: Will I get paid if the government goes into default?
A: In shutdowns, both employees who were furloughed and those who were kept on the job later have been paid for the time. However, when a shutdown was threatened this year, a general expectation arose that employees who were furloughed, and possibly even those who stayed on the job, would not be paid. But a decision never was made because the shutdown was averted.
One other issue involves pay cycles. Most federal employees are paid every two weeks, so if a default comes and goes within a pay cycle and money is provided to pay employees, there may be no noticeable effect on paychecks.
Q: Who determines whether employees would get paid?
A: In shutdowns, that decision is made by Congress and the White House through the budget measure that provided the needed appropriations and ends the shutdown. The same could apply with whatever law raises the debt ceiling.
Q: Is there a chance that all employees will continue to work in a default?
A: The most recent formal look at that issue was done in a 1995 Congressional Budget Office report that said that employees “would not be sent home, and checks would continue to be issued. If the Treasury was low on cash, however, there could be delays in honoring checks.” Whether that would hold true in the present situation is unknown.
Jay Powell, a visiting scholar with the Bipartisan Policy Center, which has issued a “Debt Limit Analysis,” says that section of the CBO report does not apply to the point after May 16, which is when additional measures were taken to get us to Aug. 2. Those measures are no longer available. The Center’s analysis indicates failure to raise the debt ceiling would mean Uncle Sam would not be able to pay about 50 percent of his bills. “You have to assume that there would be a real risk of significant furloughs,” Powell said.
Q: If I’m furloughed, can I come in to work anyway to get my work done on time?
A: That’s unclear. In a government shutdown, employees who are furloughed are prohibited from coming to work. Whether that would be the case in a default situation, if employees are furloughed at all, is unexplored territory. Again, the difference is that in a spending lapse-caused shutdown, agencies are barred from taking on new spending obligations such as employee salaries, while in a default they wouldn’t be.
Q: Will veterans still receive benefits checks in the event of a government default? What about Social Security and federal retirement benefits?
A: No one can say for certain—it could go back to the question of how the government prioritizes the money it has available. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has warned that veterans payments could halt if there is no deal, echoing comments from President Obama. The White House also has said it can’t guarantee that Social Security payments would be made in a default, which suggests that federal retirement payments would be vulnerable, too.
Republicans have called such comments scare tactics.
Q: What would happen to my health insurance?
A: In appropriations lapses, an employee’s health insurance coverage continues even if an agency does not make the premium payments on time, according to the Office of Personnel Management. If an employee is in a non-pay status, the enrollee share of the premium would accumulate and be withheld from pay upon return to pay status, it says. Again, it’s uncertain whether that policy would necessarily apply in a default situation.
Q: How would a failure to raise the debt ceiling affect investors’ money in the Thrift Savings Plan government securities fund?
A: Here is what a TSP letter to concerned investors says: “With regard to the Federal debt limit, absent legislation by Congress to raise it, the Secretary of the Treasury may determine that portions of the monies in the G Fund cannot be reinvested in Treasury securities because to do so would exceed the present Federal debt limit. However, all of the G Fund monies would still be on account with the Treasury, and the interest which would accrue if the G Fund were fully invested would still be credited to the G Fund.
“Some published reports have mischaracterized the actions which may be taken by the Treasury, which are authorized under the law. G Fund investments are safe and will continue, by law, to accrue earnings. The integrity of the G Fund would not be compromised. TSP participants’ accounts would not be affected as a result of any suspension of issuance of Treasury securities to the G Fund.”
The letter goes on to say: “The G Fund account balances would be exactly the same from day to day as if they were invested in Treasury securities. Furthermore, disbursements of TSP loans and withdrawals would not be delayed, nor would the amounts of those payments be reduced.”
Q: Has this happened before?
A: Yes, although briefly, in 1979.

House Democrats to Obama: Raise debt limit by invoking 14th Amendment if necessary

Posted at 04:52 PM ET, 07/27/2011

House Democrats to Obama: Raise debt limit by invoking 14th Amendment if necessary

A trio of House Democratic leaders is calling on President Obama to move unilaterally to raise the country’s debt ceiling next week if Congress passes anything less than a long-term extension of the federal borrowing limit.
House Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (S.C.), Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (Conn.) and Caucus Vice-Chairman Xavier Becerra (Calif.) said after a closed-door caucus meeting Wednesday that they are calling on Obama both to veto a short-term deal and sign an executive order invoking the Constitution’s 14th Amendment to avert default on Aug. 2.
“I would say to the President that if that’s what lands on his desk – a short term lifting of the debt ceiling -- he should put it on his desk next to an executive order that he will have drawn up,” Clyburn told reporters at the Capitol. “And with the same pen that he vetoes that short term debt ceiling extension, he should sign an executive order invoking the Fourteenth Amendment.”
The notion of invoking the 14th Amendment in order to raise the debt ceiling has gained traction among some Democrats, including former President Bill Clinton, as a means of averting default in case Congress does not reach a debt-limit agreement by Aug. 2, when the Treasury Department says the U.S. faces default.
But the legality of such a move has been questioned. Clyburn said Wednesday that he was “convinced that whatever discussions about the legality of that can continue” but that such an action by Obama was needed in order to “bring calm to the American people” as well as stability to global financial markets. U.S. stocks fell sharply Wednesday, as concern grew over the stalemate in Washington.
In addition to the three Democratic leaders, several rank-and-file Democrats also came out in favor of the 14th-Amendment approach.
Democratic Reps. Eliot Engel (N.Y.), Jerry Nadler (N.Y.), John Garamendi (Calif.) and Del. Donna Christensen (Virgin Islands) and several other Democrats plan to hold a news conference at 1 p.m. Thursday urging Obama to pursue such an approach.The Democrats planned to hold their event at near the Washington Monument -- at the corner of 14th Streets and Constitution Ave. in Northwest Washington.
The White House has repeatedly dismissed the 14th Amendment argument, and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Wednesday reiterated Obama’s opposition to such a move.
“Our position hasn’t changed,” Carney told reporters at the daily briefing. “There are no off-ramps. There’s no way around this. There’s no escape. And, you know, having an esoteric constitutional argument won’t resolve the fact that our borrowing authority is due to expire on Aug. 2.”
He added that “only Congress has the legal authority to extend that borrowing authority.”
“That’s our position,” Carney said. “And the president stood here and told you; we consulted to see what this was about, but it’s just -- you know, it is not an option.”

Debt-ceiling showdown: The legal battleground

Debt-ceiling showdown: The legal battleground


NEW YORK | Tue Jul 26, 2011 6:13pm EDT
(Reuters) - President Barack Obama says he will not bypass Congress and cite an obscure part of the Constitution to prevent a government debt default, but legal experts say it would prove difficult to challenge him in court should he change his mind.
Former President Bill Clinton argued last week that the 14th Amendment that states the "validity" of government debt "shall not be questioned" means that Obama could simply ignore the congressionally imposed debt ceiling and go on borrowing.
Obama has indicated he considered the possibility, but on Tuesday his spokesman, Jay Carney, appeared to rule it out.
"The Constitution makes clear that Congress has the authority, not the president, to borrow money and only Congress can increase the statutory debt ceiling. That is just a reality," Carney told reporters.
But if the country is about to go into default, the temptation to act to avert calamity will grow. Legal experts say if the president were tempted to act unilaterally he might escape without his actions being overturned in court.
Regardless of how controversial a 14th Amendment maneuver might be, a legal challenge would be very hard to mount and so far, no one has stepped forward to say they would challenge him in court.
Nor has anyone said they would sue him if he took the alternative, equally controversial, step of using his broad authorities as guardian of the constitutional order to unilaterally raise the borrowing threshold.
Theoretically, there are aggrieved parties who might consider legal action, including Congress, individual citizens or interest groups, and investors such as foreign governments.
NOT UNPRECEDENTED
A successful lawsuit against the executive branch of the United States would not be unprecedented.
In 1952, during the Korean War, the country's steel companies successfully sued President Harry Truman and prevented him from seizing mills in Ohio.
In 1971, The New York Times Company and the Washington Post Company took President Richard Nixon to court over the right to publish the Department of Defense's Pentagon Papers, detailing U.S. involvement in Vietnam. The Supreme Court prevented Nixon from obtaining an injunction to block publication.
The plaintiffs in those cases were able to demonstrate standing, the legal doctrine under which parties must show they are harmed in order to bring a case in court. Anyone suing Obama over the debt ceiling would confront that same burden.
It wouldn't be enough for a plaintiff to claim that Obama is overstepping his authority or acting illegally. "In order to sue, you have to have injury in fact. The touchstone issue is, can someone get to court?" said Jonathan Zasloff, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.
That same standard would apply if a party pre-emptively filed a lawsuit to stop Obama invoking the 14th Amendment.
Challengers might argue that relying on the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling qualified as an abuse of executive power. But it would be extremely difficult for them to show that they would suffer specific harm such as lost money, property or rights, legal experts said.
The anti-tax group Club for Growth, which opposes increased federal borrowing, does not consider a legal challenge over the 14th Amendment likely, said executive director David Keating. "It's difficult to get standing," Keating said.
Individual members of Congress, congressional leaders, or Congress itself might have better luck suing, by claiming their constitutional authority to handle appropriations was violated by the President's move.
TAKE PRESIDENT TO COURT
Members of Congress have taken presidents to court before.
In 1996, President Clinton signed the line-item veto act, allowing the president to veto separate parts of a spending bill. Six members of Congress who opposed the law sued the treasury secretary and the director of the Office of Management and Budget, claiming the law was an unconstitutional over-reach of executive power.
But in 1997 the Supreme Court said the lawmakers did not have standing to sue, ruling they did not allege personal injury or that the institution of Congress was harmed.
A third potential aggrieved party -- the kind that typically shows up in court -- is a jilted investor, whether an individual holding U.S. treasury bonds or, perhaps, a foreign country that buys U.S. government debt.
But if Obama were to raise the debt limit himself, he'd be paying bondholders back -- the opposite of a government default. Instead of abrogating bond deals the President would be ensuring that obligations to creditors were met.
The best option for critics of an eventual 14th Amendment move by Obama may also be a longshot: Impeachment. Already one Republican House member, Representative Tim Scott of South Carolina, has said that if Obama bypasses Congress and raises borrowing on his own, it would be an "impeachable offense."
(Reporting by Carlyn Kolker; editing by Eileen Daspin, Eric Effron and David storey)

U.S. "running on fumes" if no debt limit deal: White House

U.S. "running on fumes" if no debt limit deal: White House

WASHINGTON | Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:14pm EDT
(Reuters) - The United States will be "running on fumes" if its debt limit is not raised by August 2, the White House said on Wednesday, as it sought to kill talk that this was not a real deadline to strike a deficit deal.
Some analysts figure that incoming tax receipts will allow the United States to stave off default for a week or more after its borrowing authority expires on Tuesday.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said that at midnight on August 2 the country will lose its authority to borrow for the first time, meaning there is no alternative for Democrats and Republicans other than to compromise over a deal to reduce the deficit and lift the debt ceiling.
"People keep paying their taxes. Revenue comes in. Money comes in. The problem is there is not enough money because we can no longer borrow money to pay all our bills. You're basically running on fumes," Carney told reporters. "It is a crisis situation."
Rating agencies warn they could downgrade the top-notch U.S. AAA credit rating if the United States misses debt payments or if it fails to take significant steps toward controlling the long-term budget deficit.
Carney said that if there is no deal by August 2, the failure of Congress to have acted would send shock waves through financial markets. "There will be assessments made by investors around the globe about what the heck is happening in Washington," he said.

From Debt Crisis to Investor Panic

7/25/2011 2:37:00 PM
Even if the US technically runs out of money, creditors will probably allow a little time before calling it a default. But investors may bail long before then. Here’s a road map to how it would play out.
The United States inches closer to a default on its debts and a downgrade of its AAA credit rating.
Talks collapsed on Friday, and ended after less than an hour on Saturday. The “new” plans floated on Sunday are really old plans that deserve a place among the walking dead.
But what does default mean, exactly? As the Greek debt crisis and the “solution” to that crisis show, very little about this process is cut and dried. And stuff that seems like it should be definite—like the term “default” itself—is actually very, very squishy.
Turns out one of the big uncertainties is how long words—which make up what I’d call the “delay and deny" defense—can keep creditors at bay once you’ve run out of money and borrowing room.
Here’s how a US default would play out.
The Phone Call
If Congress doesn’t raise the debt ceiling, the default process will begin with a phone call, sometime on or after August 2.
The Federal Reserve will phone the US Treasury and say something like, “Projecting the inflows and outflows to the Treasury’s account, the account will be overdrawn by the end of the day. Do you want to deposit more funds, or cancel some of the scheduled payments?”
This part of the process is clear-cut. The Fed is required by law to make this phone call, and by law has no wiggle room. The Fed isn’t allowed to let the Treasury overdraw its account.
What happens next, though, isn’t nearly as clear. And what the Treasury might do if it gets that call has as much to do with politics as it does with government finances.
The Treasury isn’t talking about what it might do, at least partly because the last thing the Obama administration wants to do is tell Congress it might have more time to avert a disaster. My best guess: if the Treasury’s judgment is that buying Congress a few extra days will result in a deal that avoids default, the Treasury will find a trick, or two, or three—such as borrowing from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac—to avoid a default.
If the politics say that a few days won’t matter, and that ratcheting up the pressure on Congress by holding back on issuing government checks or delaying payments due to vendors is more important, then the Treasury will start to practice triage on the government’s obligations.
Would that be a default? As you and I understand the word, definitely.
The US would owe money to bondholders, or Social Security recipients, or state governments, or military personnel, or vendors that sold it everything from computers to light bulbs, and it won’t be sending out payments on time. It has an obligation to pay, and it wouldn’t be living up to that obligation.
But the reality is that a borrower isn’t in default until a lender, creditor, or credit-rating agency says he or she is. And it’s frequently in the self-interest of the lending party or creditor not to call a default a default immediately.
NEXT: The Greek Example
The Greek Example
You can see that in the Greek crisis, where the solution patched together last week—requiring bondholders to roll over bonds that are maturing into new bonds with longer maturities—actually is a default.
Bondholders would not be getting the payments and the return of capital guaranteed to them by their original investment. The debtor has acted, by forcing that rollover, to delay the repayment of capital. And that’s a default on the terms of the original debt.
But there’s a big incentive for creditors and lenders to call a default something other than a default. Calling the Greek default a default, for example, might well trigger all the credit-default swaps and force sellers of that “insurance” in the derivatives market to pay up.
(You might think that being able to collect on the insurance you’ve paid premiums to put in place would be attractive to those who bought the insurance, except that lots and lots of buyers are also sellers and no one is quite sure how the buying and selling would net out—especially if some sellers were found to owe more than they could pay.)
Banks, national central banks, and the European Central Bank don’t want to call a default a default either, because that would destroy the value of collateral throughout the banking system. It would require central banks and national governments to find the money to capitalize banks that have, so far, funded themselves by borrowing against Greek government bonds.
Politicians certainly don’t want to call a default a default, because they’d be forced to go to taxpayers for the money to recapitalize affected banks.
Moody’s hasn’t said Greece is in default yet, but says it is inevitable and has downgraded debt again. Fitch Ratings is calling it a “restricted default event,” and Standard & Poor’s is likely to take similar action. That will allow Greek creditors such as the European Central Bank pretend that a default isn’t really a default, and continue to lend money to Greek banks with Greek government debt as collateral.
The argument, flimsy as it is, for not calling this default a default and for not treating Greek government debt as defaulted debt is that the default won’t last for very long (maybe), and will be cleared up (possibly) as soon as the full rescue plan is in place.
I think we can expect something similar for the US if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling—a self-interested combination of delay and deny.
NEXT: When Is it a Default?
When Is it a Default?
As long as the US default looks like it is going to be temporary, then the force of delay-and-deny should hold out.
If the default stretches from days to weeks, however, delay-and-deny will gradually lose its power. More than a couple of weeks, I’d estimate, and delay-and-deny could be looking at a rout.
And it’s the bond market that’s likely to call time in any post-default crisis.
The financial markets really don’t want to call a US default a default. The credit-default swap market will initially vote that August 2 doesn’t constitute a credit event that would trigger payments from sellers to buyers of credit insurance.
Institutional investors—including money-market mutual funds, pension funds, and insurance—have surveyed their boards to see if a temporary default would trigger their rules on the credit quality of their portfolios. From the reports I’ve seen, most boards have said that a temporary default wouldn’t require portfolio managers to sell their holdings of Treasuries.
Overseas central banks and sovereign wealth funds don’t especially want to start selling their vast holdings of Treasuries, because any significant selling will set off a drop in the value of the rest of the Treasurys in these portfolios. (That’s especially true because the turmoil in the euro market makes assets denominated in that currency an underwhelming alternative to Treasuries.)
The repo, or repurchase markets—which use Treasuries as collateral for about 40% of what are, in effect, short-term loans—don’t want to issue margin calls on trillions of dollars of these loans, and risk a replay of Lehman Brothers and the global financial crisis.
But while the self-interest of the markets as a whole calls for looking past a US default, and calling it something else, the self-interest of individual players in these markets calls for getting out sooner rather than later. If you think the let’s-not-call-it-a-default is going to turn into a debt-market rout sometime after August 2, you want to be the first out the door, rather than get caught in a later stampede.
So the United States has time, but not very much time, before a default is a default is a default, as Gertrude Stein might have put it.
How Much Time?
That depends on the how slowly the bond market sells off US Treasuries in Asia and the United States.
Selling that looks like it will accelerate into a rapid rise in yields and a quick drop in bond prices will quite possibly put intolerable pressure on the delay-and-deny defense. No portfolio manager, no matter what his board has said, wants to be accused of waiting too long to move.
And every portfolio manager will be watching this week to see if the herd starts to break for the exits. The slightest whiff of “abandon ship” could easily become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The US debt markets are lucky that the European debt crisis is still enough of a danger that the dollar and Treasuries have some allure as safe-haven investments. (Granted, that allure diminishes by the hour.)
Any squabbling in Europe or sign that the Greek deal is coming apart as the parties try to work out the details will mean a little more strength for the dollar, and a little more time for delay and deny.
On the minus side, well, there’s Congress. After the collapse of talks Friday and the truncated meeting Saturday, Sunday brought a raft of proposals that were dead on arrival…
  • The Republicans keep offering packages of cuts that Democrats won’t accept—especially because they have a very strong suspicion that none of these offers would get through the Republican-controlled (and I use the term “controlled” very loosely) House of Representatives.
  • On the Democratic side, President Barack Obama faces a near insurgency in his own party that threatens to turn into outright rebellion if he accepts a deal with budget cuts and no revenue increases. Yet anything with revenue increases is almost certainly dead on arrival in the House.
If Standard & Poor’s and the bond market look at this wreck and see no chance of avoiding a default, the deny-and-delay defense will take a major blow. That’s why the cockamamie Reid-McConnell plan, which would allow Obama to approve an increase in the debt ceiling while letting congressional Republicans vote against any increase, is surprisingly pivotal.
As convoluted as that plan is—and as dependent as it is on arcane rules of Congress, rather than on anything that approaches a democratic process—it is the only plan on the table right now with a legitimate, if not especially large, chance at success.
If that plan dies, and there’s nothing viable to replace it to give deny-and-delay some degree of plausibility, then it won’t matter whether anyone calls this default a default or a “short-term credit disruption.” The bond markets will speak, bond investors will run for the exits, and the US default will be real.
Full disclosure: I don’t own shares of any of the companies mentioned in this column in my personal portfolio. The mutual fund I manage, Jubak Global Equity Fund (JUBAX), may or may not now own positions in any stock mentioned in this column. For a full list of the stocks in the fund as of the end of March, see the fund’s portfolio here.


Jim Jubak
Editor and Founder, JubakPicks.com
Senior Markets Editor, MoneyShow.com
Web site: www.jubakpicks.com

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford accused of flipping the bird at mom, daughter

Showing Toronto Mayor Rob Ford how you feel about the job he is doing may not get you a favourable response. Ottilie Mason was driving with her daughter when they pulled alongside Ford on Dundas Street Friday evening, reads a post on Facebook.
Ford was driving while talking on his cell phone, it states.
"My six-year-old daughter and I have a game of thumbs up and thumbs down when we like or dislike something," Mason writes. "We aptly give him a thumbs down and say, 'Get off your cell phone!! Rob Ford'."
Mason says Ford responded to the disapproval in a way most politicians wouldn't - by flipping them the bird.
Mason says she again shouted at him to get off his phone, but alleges Ford kept giving the pair the one-finger salute and started swearing.
"I can see him swearing words through the window," she writes. "I only wish I had taken a picture with my camera but as you know that would be illegal while driving a vehicle."
A Toronto Star article says, "The mayor's office would not comment, nor confirm whether the incident happened."
The post has since gone viral on Facebook and Twitter.
"I find this kind of behaviour really unbecoming of a mayor who not only is in charge of the largest metropolitan municipality in Canada, is supposed to follow the laws of that city," Mason writes on Facebook.

Section 8 housing crackdown roils Antelope Valley

Editorial

Funny Or Die funnyordie
That's just because our office is in LA. RT @GarryShandling: Is it me, or does Funny or Die reek of pot?

Section 8 housing crackdown roils Antelope Valley

The cities of Lancaster and Palmdale have had more residents cut off for violations of the Section 8 rules than anywhere else overseen by the Los Angeles County housing authority.

Lancaster Sheriff Deputies, LA County Housing Authority investigators and parole agents search Section 8 apartments and homes in Lancaster. A crackdown on Section 8 renters has been fueled by the anger and fear of homeowners in the Antelope Valley. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
Lancaster Sheriff Deputies, LA County Housing Authority investigators
and parole agents search Section 8 apartments and homes in Lancaster.
A crackdown on Section 8 renters has been fueled by the anger and
fear of homeowners in the Antelope Valley.
(Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)



The name Antelope Valley evokes a picturesque desert-scape where pronghorns once roamed and people now live quietly in rambling homes on spacious lots. But a recent lawsuit suggests a less peaceful image of the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale in the northern reaches of Los Angeles County.

According to the suit, county housing investigators, sometimes accompanied by posses of armed sheriff's deputies, regularly roust residents on public housing assistance — known as Section 8 vouchers — to see if they are in compliance with the strict rules of the federal housing assistance program. Although the law enforcement officers are legally required to ask permission to enter, their presence is so intimidating that few occupants turn them down.

Those compliance checks have led in many cases to termination of aid. The two cities have had more residents cut off for violations of the Section 8 rules than anywhere else overseen by the Los Angeles County housing authority. Between July 2006 and November 2010, 59% of proposed terminations of aid were in Lancaster and Palmdale, even though those cities are home to just 17% of Section 8 households in the county.

The majority of people on Section 8 assistance in the Antelope Valley — and in Los Angeles County — are black or Latino. The suit, brought by the grass-roots organization Community Action League as well as two unnamed residents and the NAACP, accuses the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale of nothing less than "a deliberate attempt to re-segregate their historically virtually all-white communities."

The mayors of both Lancaster and Palmdale deny that their cities have engaged in any systematic attempt to drive out Latinos and African Americans. But what is troubling is how aggressive and public officials of both cities have been in resisting the influx of Section 8 participants. In 2009 the cities asked the county housing authority to consider mounting an ad campaign to discourage Section 8 voucher holders from coming to the Antelope Valley because it was too expensive and there were few jobs. The housing authority declined, according to the lawsuit. Lancaster officials also tried to get the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to allow them to withhold city business licenses from landlords who proposed to rent to Section 8 voucher holders. In a 2009 letter, HUD officials turned them down, warning that because 75% of Lancaster's Section 8 participants were black, the city's move could be seen as a violation of the Fair Housing Act.

Though it's true that Lancaster and Palmdale have more Section 8 households than any other community under county housing control, there's a simple explanation: Housing is affordable and plentiful in the far stretches of the Antelope Valley. Under the program, willing landlords are paid a portion of a voucher holder's rent by the local public housing authority. The renter pays the rest.

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris says the rising numbers of poor people have taxed city services. He also says the rise in terminations of Section 8 assistance correlates with the city's drop in crime. But he can't draw any causality between those phenomena. In fact, crime is down everywhere in Los Angeles County.

After the HUD letter informed him of the ethnic breakdown of Section 8 voucher holders, Parris said publicly: "African Americans comprise 78% of the recipients but are only 20% of the population. That's unfair." In a subsequent interview, he said he only meant that there should be an examination of why African Americans make up such a small part of the population of the Antelope Valley but such a large part of its Section 8 participants. It's no mystery. In Los Angeles County, 47% of Section 8 voucher holders were black and 24% were Latino in 2008. And they went where housing was affordable.

Lancaster and Palmdale requested — and helped pay for — three housing investigators dedicated solely to rooting out Section 8 fraud. To Parris, the dramatically higher rate of fraud in the two cities is just the result of investigators doing a conscientious job. But what Parris sees as conscientious strikes us as overzealous.

It's time for the cities to pull back on their anti-Section 8 rhetoric. We are all for aggressively cracking down on crime, whether it's Section 8 fraud or anything else. But Section 8 participants go through rigorous background checks and must adhere to myriad rules. It doesn't take much to get kicked out of the program, as the Antelope Valley investigators have demonstrated. A visitor who stays with a Section 8 resident one day longer than permitted is considered an unauthorized tenant. Most terminations in Lancaster, according to the lawsuit, were for unauthorized tenancy.

What is unconscionable is a crackdown so broad that it amounts to a campaign of harassment against poor people, most of whom are black, and the landlords willing to rent to them.

Parris' diatribes only serve to inflame the community. He and other officials should be discouraging harassment of Section 8 voucher holders. As for the strain on public services for the poor, maybe the cities could start financing those resources by diverting the salaries of those extra Section 8 housing investigators.
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Hijra Vesti at 10:28 AM July 21, 2011 I am a Black American that also happens to be a landlord. I currently own several rental properties in L.A. County. I try to avoid section 8. I find that section 8 tenants tend to do a poorer job of maintaining a rental unit. I don’t believe that this is a phenomenon that can be laid at the feet of “Black” or “Latino” culture.  Nor do I believe that all Blacks or Latinos can be conveniently shoe horned into singular cultures. One need only look at Michelle Obama’s up brining to know that there are Blacks (African Americans) that raise their children to respect other people, to be law abiding, and to be productive citizens. Many section 8 voucher holders come from an under-privileged background, which means that they did not grow up in clean neighborhoods, with manicured lawns, and neighbors that were able to hide all their dirty laundry and dysfunctionality behind closed doors. That aside, Tenants and Landlords need to abide by the rules governing section 8, and those rules need to be enforced. However, showing up with a police escort to do a unit inspection seems a bit heavy handed. We might want to tone that down a little, just as we probably want to tone down the racist rhetoric regarding “cultures”.
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AVResident at 3:56 PM July 21, 2011 Reasonably spoken, by a reasonable sounding person.
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menageri at 7:39 PM July 20, 2011 There may be an argument that the cities are being too aggressive in limiting the number of section 8 properties within their boundaries. However, if the terminations are legitimate and warranted (and I see nothing here that suggests otherwise) then you can't complain about them. If people break the rules they should lose their benefits. Period.
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Rankin1 at 3:01 PM July 20, 2011 Facts, most asians and whites are more civiized and much less problems.
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Hijra Vesti at 9:14 AM July 21, 2011 Fact, Your comment is simply an example of the racist attitudes that possess.
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Soliel at 1:37 PM July 17, 2011 Cities have a right to go after section 8. 
Those on section 8 are on PUBLIC ASSISTANCE...if they can't follow the rules, I am sorry OUT!  If you are a nusiance, OUT!
And what about the rights of the homeowner's who pay FULL RENT and INVEST IN THEIR HOMES? Why should they have to tolerate nuisance, disruptive behavior of others who pay a fraction of what they pay, do not care as much because they have so little invested. Why should they have to suffer?  If anything the tapaying citizen should have more rights here, than section 8'ers/
There are some nice, respectful section 8 folks but a large percentage are NOT.   Largely they are loud, disrespectful and don't keep things clean. If they can't do the basics why shouldn't they lose their FREE money from taxpayers?  I don't know what kind of "screening" the government does for section 8 but it's obviously very weak as most section 8 are not good neighbors. Has nothing to do with color but behavior/attitude.
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AVResident at 11:55 PM July 15, 2011 @Speakonit123...yet again...
No, unless you actually are stricken with an inability to speak, you are not "dumb". You might consider refreshing your elementary Latin, however. There is actually no such thing as "mean hominem words" in any known language.
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Speakonit123 at 5:34 AM July 16, 2011 Your freakin funny. It's spelled homonym, but you fail to grasp that you've been had.
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Speakonit123 at 6:08 AM July 16, 2011 If you want to catch a dirty stinky possum, the best bait to use is a dirty stinky possum. The scent just makes em crazy.
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AVResident at 12:00 PM July 16, 2011 Ah, yes, more non-sequiturs. Fvtve te, matris fvtvor!
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AVResident at 12:03 PM July 14, 2011 @Speakonit123: I did indeed read and cognitively ingest the article. The Section 8 regulations are rather stringent concerning several areas of behavior, including "guests" overstaying, for reasons of obvious wisdom. Violating these regulations are indeed "malfeasance", no matter what you may believe, or what personal relations you may wish to have with lipstick bearing swine (or any other farm animals of your choice).
The reason I refer to the "loss of vouchers" is because that is precisely what the subsequent result is for aberrant disregard for the well-explained regulations of receiving 2/3rds of your rent via productive Americans.
You also used the possessive pronoun 'your' when you obviously meant the contraction 'you're' (for the word combination 'you are') in your 3rd to last sentence. This is one example of what Diane Beard-Williams is referring to when she writes of persons writing on a '4th grade level'.
As to your assertion that I have illegal items in my home, easily found by spontaneously inspecting law enforcement, I can assure you that all my car tags are current, all my drugs have current legitimate prescriptions, and in fact I do not remove my cushion tags-BUT you should know that the legal prohibition against doing so is for the SELLER of the cushions, NOT the consumers. You are free to remove your tags at any time your mind wanders into this direction.
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Speakonit123 at 2:47 PM July 14, 2011 Too funny, I bet you took all day to write that.
I'm so dumb. I juz don't know what to say. Those mean hominem words are just soo mean to me. Your, you're, I'm just so dumb.
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Jackson119049 at 1:26 PM July 13, 2011 I worked in the Antelope Valley for ten years and during that those years, I garnered up close and personal experience with section 8 residents.
I could always spot a section 8 house.  It was the eyesore amongst the clean, well-kept homes of residents who worked hard to own their homes.  Dead, brown lawn, tattered, filthy sofas in the front yard, stained sheets in the windows, and wall-to-wall trash in the house.  Can't forget the stench of rotting garbage and the piles of malt liquor cans in the backyard. Oh, can't leave out the Escalade parked in the driveway.  I saw this many times in Lake Los Angeles, Palmdale, and Lancaster.
While their neighbors paid $1500-$2000 per month, the section 8 people I dealt with paid much less.  The taxpayers paid the rest.  Able bodied men and women sat around all day guzzling malt liquor while listening to hip-hop and rap turned up full blast.  If you asked these people to turn the volume down, you'd get a string of profanities starting with the word they uttered at birth--motherf**ker.
In many cases, Section 8 was a government sponsored wrecking ball that ruined many good neighborhoods.  
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Soliel at 1:40 PM July 17, 2011 What about the rights of citizens who are NOT on the public dole, who are respectful, good neighbors and who maintain their homes? Where are their rights?
LA the only place they don't care about you if you are productive, law abiding citizen. IN fact they hate you if you are that and favor the welfare people, illegals. Dumb city. No wonder it's third world.
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AVResident at 1:49 PM July 12, 2011 I would like to add some thoughts here...I have been in the AV since 1993, and it was not a lilly-white area then or now. Nor has this ever been a source of problems for my (White) family. Our neighbors have always been a mixture of White, Hispanic, Black, & Asian. Lovely people, all. I have rarely seen any real race problems here.
Most of the Section 8 renters are well behaved. Nobody objects to them being here. However, a small group of them have drawn attention to themselves over the years by being conspicuously inconsiderate to their neighbors, which led to numerous complaints. This is about BEHAVIOR, not race. When people behave as though they are 'housebroken', they do not attract negative attention, and inspectors do not show up at their doors as the sun is coming up. This is COMMON SENSE, a trait that is sometimes lacking in some people, possibly due to their cultural upbringing and values system.
A small group of insensitive people can indeed ruin a neighborhood, bringing less-than-sensitive consequences upon themselves, which is really what this argument is all about. Perhaps the manner of inspections DO need to be toned down a bit, but from what I have gathered, the vast majority of inspections have born the bitter fruit of malfeasance, followed by the subsequent loss of vouchers.
None of my Black or Hispanic neighbors are suffering any of these indignities!
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Speakonit123 at 9:34 PM July 12, 2011 "but from what I have gathered, the vast majority of inspections have born the bitter fruit of malfeasance, followed by the subsequent loss of vouchers."
Did you even read the article? What did you gather? If you actually "gathered" information, you would realize that the majority of loss of vouchers (as you call them) we're for guests overstaying. Malfeasance smeezance, no matter how much lipstick you put on this pig, I ain't smoochin.
I'm sure if I rushed inside your house, I'd find something illegal. Hey, I think your the Mass Matress Tag Remover. MMTR, I'm calling the feds on you. Your done.
I recommend we waterboard you to get info on the Hamburgler.
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Soliel at 1:42 PM July 17, 2011 You said it perfectly. That is the truth about life. Class comes in all colors and it's your behavior mostly that draws ire from others, not your race.
I am sure the law abiding, home owning citizens of AV, of ALL colors do not appreciate rude/disrespectful section 8'ers.  OUt with them.
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Fast Freddy at 11:13 AM July 12, 2011 The L.A. Times is always very critical of hospitals that "dump" homeless patients outside homeless shelters.  Los Angeles has not provided a place for these people to live and complaining about the "dumping" is an attempt to push the problem onto someone else.  Section 8 housing is the same thing.  Los Angeles has not provided enought low cost housing for their residents and they have found that it is more convenient for them to "dump" these people on surrounding communities.  Shame on you Los Angeles and shame on you L.A.Times.
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Rubi_conski at 10:31 PM July 11, 2011 HUD needs to provide home maintenance orientation and work harder on proper placement of tenants. Plopping ghetto people in nice neighborhoods without oversight is irresponsible  and a recipe for disaster.
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Rubi_conski at 10:22 PM July 11, 2011 Section 8 is a homeowner subsidy program period. As unemployment goes up landlords like the guaranteed rent.
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ExPhoenixResident at 6:13 PM July 11, 2011 The problem we have in this country today is the high number of bottom-feeders who live off my taxpayer dollars participating in the Section 8 program who have this attitude that people like myself "owe" them.
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TimBowman at 12:39 PM July 11, 2011 How silly of them!  The very idea of maintaining system integrity and protecting the privilege of the truly needy when they could simply give away taxpayer money to the undeserving.
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ajsinsurance at 12:11 PM July 11, 2011 o.k. I am latino and the fact is is that whites are the minority in california now, these idiots are abusing the system period I dont care what color you are period!!
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Fred Derf at 11:51 AM July 11, 2011 Having worked in the Antelope Valley and participated in Section 8 compliance checks, I can say without hesitation there was no harassment. Most of those who were subjected to compliance checks came to our attention through complaints. Invariably they proved to be in violation of some regulation of section 8 and oftentimes had to explain themselves to housing authorities. In some egregious cases they were simply denied any further benefits and were told to vacate after a period of time. I don't mind some of my tax dollars going to those that will use the benefits in the manner intended, but for those who see section 8 as another source of easy money, you reap what you sow...
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Soliel at 1:45 PM July 17, 2011 OF COURSE!!!  If you get FREE RENT and can't BEHAVE, I am sorry, you don't deserve a DIME.  I don't take ANY welfare yet I am a GOOD CITIZEN. Where are out rights?  Why do we have to suffer at the abuse of some?
It's sickening. I hope they lose in court. This is not about race, it's about behavior/attitudes/culture. Sorry, if you don't have enough class and consideration, OUT!!!
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iceteanolemon1 at 1:20 AM July 11, 2011 "What is unconscionable is a crackdown so broad that it amounts to a campaign of harassment against poor people, most of whom are black, and the landlords willing to rent to them."
This is a harassment campaign? OK so there are a majority of black people taking section 8 benefits, that should not be a reason to say the crackdown on fraud is race related. I live in the area and notice that section 8 complaints from all the people I know are formed from the miskept property, and excessive residents in the households. In my experience I have not been told the complaint against section 8 resiidents is their race.
I also read that people are assuming section 8 recipients are actually living in apartments, this is definitely not the case. I have first hand knowledge of section 8 residents living in 2300sq ft houses sitting on gated 1/2 acre lots in the antelope valley. It always stumped me as to how the gov program can allow for such living conditions. Just something to think about.
If you get housing subsidized by taxpayers and there are rules to live by you need to adhere to those rules. As a taxpayer I expect the state and county to be responsible for their benefit giving. I think it is not a far reach to have a crackdown on these recipients on unscheduled basis. Maybe it will irritate them enough to get them to get jobs.
My taxes house these people. TAX MONEY.
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ole123 at 4:31 AM July 11, 2011 Wow, what a tragedy. Your tax money. What are real humans next to that.
Never mind  everyone pays taxes, only  a few make a big drama out of it.
And the sickening talk of rules. Rules rules rules. Always conservatives excuse for repression. Rules have to be balanced against potentially inhumane consequenses in a civilized society. If  more people end up homeless then that certainly is inhumane.
What's darkly ironic is that those mainly conservatives would  have whined even louder if the tenants they ITCH to see evicted, ended up as homeless near them.
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areeda at 8:08 AM July 11, 2011 Thank you.
Nowhere in the essay did it mention what the complaints were, nor did it mention how many people were evicted.
Just a complaint that enforcing the laws are a burden on the people who break the laws.
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ExPhoenixResident at 6:09 PM July 11, 2011 ole123, it's clear you don't believe rules should apply to you or your chosen people.  It's people like you who think you're above the rest of us that contributes to the problem.  I am concerned that one day in this country we're going to have the same problems that brought down Yugoslavia and the problems Russians have in dealing with Chechnyans in which minorities create a balkanization in this country leading to conflict and civil wars.
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ole123 at 6:26 PM July 12, 2011 areeda
In that case you must not have read many other of the commens here. With the DIABOLIC types of conservatives that deny being racist while whining about feeling like 'foreigners' among blacks and Latinos, or pointing out that the tenant that disturbed them was 'black', and then how that 'black' tenant speaks for 'the rest of blacks' under section 8,  both forllowed by a significant amount of thumbs up by other readers.
That said, the same goes for the comments critical of section 8, which overwhelmingly negatively stereotype section 8 tenants in general.

It's not about those that violate rules only. Never mind, the article doesn't criticize any and all enforcement, but explicitly points out that it's too broad, and why. 

"phoneixresident".
  You even let your racist prejudices travel overseas. It makes no sense  to even accuse others favoring race based special treatment while blaming racial minorities for social ills, even overseas.
As for the "balkanization" of Russia.   That's  just what the tens of thosuands Russian neo nazis complain about, and carry out appalling violence in the name of, so don't you worry too much. I think the KKK is recruting over here anyway.
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ole123 at 10:07 PM July 12, 2011 I must've been too lenient.
The racist  actually accused minorities who're the victims of racist violence in Russia of 'causing' it.
That can't be a normal person.
You basically support violence against minorities. How otherwise can you blame them for it, when it's not them that carry it out? What was that about following rules, again.  Who cares about some freaking section 8 woes of someone that supports unprovokes violent attacks.  You were just here to comment about the "black" tenant that allegedly bothered you, and use that alleged tenant to smear all other black tenants with.
The fact that you seem fairly familiar with the situation there suggests that you've watched footage of, or read about "patriotic" skinheads violently attacking minorities in the streets of Russian cities. Hence you must also be familiar with their murders, which are at the level of terrorist violence. They have beheaded minorities on camera, did you watch that too? I haven't. But bet you liked it, sicko.
But see, a certain ilk among conservatives have historically supported violence against minorities here as well, slavery and related 'whipping'  etc not being the only or last, for sure. It's not normal types who engage in incessant defamation online or on radio of non-whites  they see or interract with frequently, without facing any mistreatment or disrespect. I.e., it's not 'revenge', just spite.

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Soliel at 1:49 PM July 17, 2011 Ole if those who are getting FREE RENT can't follow simple rules to keep the LARGE gift from the taxpaying citizens, and they are left homeless, it is their own damn fault. Nothing can save them. We all have to save ourselves.  If they are not appreciative enough of the gift and fail to respect it, then they don't deserve it. Then, they simply need to pay their own way like all the rest.
We don't mind paying taxes if it's done well, and frugally, and with morals but it is immoral to allow inconsiderate people to live in nice areas, where all the rest of us must pay an arm and a leg, bring down the peace and enjoyment of the neighbordhood. Now THAT is immoral.
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Gordon1 at 10:22 PM July 10, 2011 It is a common saying among attorneys - "If the facts are against you then argue the law - If the law is against you then argue the facts - and if both the law and the facts are against you then cry racism at the top of your lungs".  Your editorial ( Section 8 housing crackdown roils Antelope Valley 7/10/11) does exactly this.  You present no argument against the fact that many Section 8 housing recipients are engaged in fraud.  You also present no argument against the fact that the crackdown is being applied in anything but an evenhanded manner - all recipients are subject to the same laws and are being investigated.  But your cry of racisim goes out just the same. My take on this is that in a time huge state deficits a source of massive government waste has been identified.  Why isn't the rest of the state doing the same thing as Antelope Valley. 
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marioW. at 7:40 PM July 10, 2011 Lets be honest for a moment, bad section 8 tenants, and everyone know that there are those, make it bad for everyone else, and I am not just talking about other section 8 tenant's.
Some recipients have good intentions to start over, to get a second chance, to move away from their familiar environment, the problem with those intentions is that bring the problem with them.
The bad seed that blast music until the wee hours of the morning, double park cars across others access lanes, and driveways.
They fail to manicure gardens, which effects the neighbors, often have company of like minded individuals, that wear their pants hanging off, they have cars parked in the driveways that give them away, you start seeing tagging go up, loud arguments and partying
To take this into a community where people value their property, where every grass is green and well kept, where people are not working on clunkers in oil lined driveways. Where unruly kids take over the schools, and parents justify it by their actions, not their words.
There are community block meetings I am sure where there is a verbal understand that no owner will rent property to section 8, but investor's that don't live in those communities can't afford to let them go vacant until resale, so they patch them up, and allow it to happen, because they can care less, and it hurts everyone else and the value of it.
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deviantleft at 7:49 PM July 10, 2011 When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose
They have no investment in their housing.  Some might say but don't you want to maintain your housing, where you live?
What do you mean maintain?  Like work?  Mow the lawn.  Not park the cars on the what is left of the lawn?  Turn down the music at 3am?
NAH!
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ExPhoenixResident at 6:11 PM July 10, 2011 (continued)  After I moved out after buying a house, I posted a negative review of the apartment complex on apartmentratings.com  Sometime later, my former downstairs neighbor responded to my review by posting libelous and defamatory commments about me.  That tells me everything about black Section 8 participants and the leasing companies that defends them.
You can find my review right here  http://www.apartmentratings.com/rate/AZ-Phoenix-Sierra-Ranch-formerly-Saddleback-Apartments-515531.html
My former downstairs neighbor who wrote nasty stuff about me posted under "igotyournumber" and "JennyChan".
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deviantleft at 7:55 PM July 10, 2011 I was in this hellish situation recently.  You cannot win.  I was literally in hell until i finally was able to borrow some money and buy a condo.
I will never get over those 4 years in the apartments from hell.
Some employee said i cursed at her and they have a witness. Well, I never cursed at any employee in my life I do not think.  But the scumbag manager was mad because I had requested repairs and the next thing i know he is issuing me a summons.
It was hell to move, but worse hell to live at carlton arms.
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ole123 at 3:58 AM July 11, 2011 Oh, so one black resident tells "everything" about black section 8 residents. Wow.
Wonder what you think of blacks who let white bigots speak for all whites.
And the klansman below who calls the left 'deviant' while himself deviating from average human tendency to not shun social solidarity and not judge people based on race,   complains further down about 'having to' live among "foreigners", and laments racial diversity.
That's of course not 'racist'. It's simply a normal view, to racists.
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lexxie at 12:44 PM July 11, 2011 Only a racist ignoramous like you 'ole23' would continue to write post after post using that dead when played 'racist card'. No one's listening any longer, find a new shtick...
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ExPhoenixResident at 6:11 PM July 11, 2011 ole123, for every Ku Klux Klansman you run into, I can bring you at least ten Nation of Islam Louis Farrakhan-type blacks.  It's people like you that have such a racist attitude towards whites (and in some cases against Asians as well) that create most of the racism the rest of us face today in this country.
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ole123 at 7:38 PM July 12, 2011 "lexxie"
You're also a racist who've disparaged Mexicans in previous comments, so little wonder you're reacting here.
One comment by Jeff-something said minorities should 'stop having so many kids' and got a bunch of thumbs up as a result. To negatively sterotype a whole race, or whole races,  Is racist.
"Exphoneixresident"
This isn't as much about the klan,  as much as run of the mill racists, especially who flat out deny any and all racism from their side.  You commented that one *black*  section 8   that allegedly behaved badly was representative of the other  black section 8 tenants. Much of your point ended up stereotyping blacks.
How is complaining about feeling  foreign among blacks and Mexicans also not racist?  Just because you may agree with it, doesn't mean it's not racist. That just means you're also one.. But it insinuates that blacks and Latinos somehow can't be American, and if it's said by a white, who do you think that person equates with Not being foreign? Bet you know the answer.
But it's no wonder you resent  complaints about racism, since most people resent having their beliefs criticized.
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ole123 at 9:26 PM July 12, 2011 Also.
Conservative talk radio is a MAJOR contributor to today's racism. It's been  documented how their incessant  demagogery of minorities to outright hate speech have led to a parallel increase in violent hate crimes towards Hispanics for one. This is  supported by FBI's statistics among others. Is that blacks fault?
Yet, someone like "exphoenixresident' comes along and accuses blacks of being the culprit, just like FOX regularly do. It'd be damn convenient for you to believe that, so you could continue negatively stereotype blacks in other ways, while your two friends here take care of Mexicans and minorities in general respectively.
And I've only called the blatantly racists racists, not just anyone who doesn't embrace section 8 with open arms. It'd actually be great if these discussions were more balanced, but it seems impossible wherever you klan types and tea baggers congregate. Like few want to come near you. But more should to help debunk your  excessively inaccurate statements. Enough of their trying to debunk every LA Times article that talks contrary to their stereotypes.
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ExPhoenixResident at 6:06 PM July 10, 2011 (continued) I was at the mercy of an assistant manager who seemed more sympathetic to his situation than mine.  She offered to move me to another apartment.  I told her I should not have to move to appease a bully and that since he's the one doing all the whining and complaining, he's the one that should move.  She told me she'll suggest it to him, but if he refuses, then the "onus is on me".  I was later told he would not bother me about this again and that he would move, however, it would be another year before he actually does move.  Twice for the next twelve months, he reported me to the leasing office accusing me of "deliberatly" disturbing him with my "heavy walking".  He even made slanderous accusations against me accusing me of exposing myself to female tenants on my balcony as they pass by.  The leasing consultant who handled this was also black and it seemed both of them wanted to gang up on me because they were black and I was half white half Asian.  The manager told me she would have a talk with the consultant.  Six months later after I was written up a second time, I found out that the first consulant was relived of her duties after other tenants complained about her.  After he moved out, I decided to leave after the office put out a newsletter telling upstairs tenants to be mindful of downstairs neighbors.  I felt that my predicament fell on deaf ears (continued).
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ExPhoenixResident at 5:57 PM July 10, 2011 When I lived in Phoenix, I lived in an apartment complex in the northeastern part of town for seven years.  During the last two years I lived there, the complex began participating in the Section 8 program and I had the misfortune to have a black sociopathic Section 8 neighbor live below me.  Immediately after he moved in, he walked upstairs to my apartment and knocked on my door to tell me that his ceiling squeaked everytime I walked in my apartment and he wanted me to stop walking in a manner that makes his ceiling squeak.  I asked him how he wanted me to do that.  He didn't give me an answer.  I told him that I sympathized with his situation but I also told him I'm not responsible for a poorly constructed building that makes noise when I walk.  He left although I can tell he didn't like my answer.  Six months later, he ran into me as he was arriving at his apartment and I was stepping out of mine.  He then went into a loud verbal tirade against me accusing me of being a rude inconsiderate neighbor.  For the following ten minutes or so, we were both enganged in a shouting match.  During our shouting, he told me it's my responsibility to take my shoes off when I enter my apartment, as if he thinks he can tell me what I can do in my own home.  I reported him to the leasing consultant accusing him of bullying and harassment. (continued)
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avoiceofreason1 at 5:47 PM July 10, 2011 VERY simple concept-if you want something from the  government, you must follow the government's rules. If you break those rules, you don't get it anymore. As far as I'm aware, nobody is forcing people to live on section 8 assistence, they're all asking for it. Ask any of the law enforcement conducting these checks, the reason they're on scene is some of these folks aren't good at following the law and neither are their friends .
Same as welfare and SSI. I have an idea, let's make all these recipients take a monthy drug test as well. Fail and you're out-if you can afford your drugs, you can afford your food. Not talking about marijuana either, just meth, cocaine, heroin and PCP. I see able bodied people on ssi and welfare all the time. It's not our fault these people made bad choices, and we should help those in need, but not forever and not those who choose to abuse the system or will not do an honest days work.
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Helpful at 5:32 PM July 10, 2011 We need more equality and less racism in the Section 8 housing program.  Cut off everybody, especially the malingering white people, and get rid of the program.  Enforcement problem solved.
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KennethDougherty at 4:51 PM July 10, 2011 The black and latino population in this country consume more tax dollars than they pay. And that's a fact. Supporting those who insist on making poor decisions or are just too lazy to work should be left to their own devices. Which means they'll have to rob and steal from us. White , black, brown or green, I don't care, take care of yourself and the children you produce. Simple. Anybody tries to rob me, I'll do what I've had to do before. Shoot them. No hospital visit, just a visit to the morgue. Simple. We are all humans. But those of us who don't act like humans should not be treated like humans.
    I suffered from a catasrophe caused by a supposed human. Then a few years later again by two supposed humans. Now I deal with chronic pain that for the most part I can suppress with my mind, and no feeling in two fingers. Then it happened again. Coroner for him, dinner with my wife for me. Then it happened again. Coroner for the three of them and dinner with my wife for me. Then dealt with 'family members' of the 'humans' who were livid that I fought back against their 'loved ones'.
   I never have and never will start a fight, but if one is thrust upon me me, forever more I'll finish it. And not one of these 'humans' that I fought had a job or a life as we would know it. But they had all created a bunch of kids. And to the author, come walk the walk with me Mr. Clueless.
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deviantleft at 7:58 PM July 10, 2011 DETAILS DUDE! DETAILS! PLEASE!
there must be some justice in this world.
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Speakonit123 at 8:50 PM July 10, 2011 Ken, I've come across a lot of you retired cops types many times over. You like to threaten others to get your way. Your mo is pure steal, with no deal. I highly doubt your for real though, because if you were, you'd be toast. Thanks for the tip buddy boy.
Diplomacy works a whole lot better than aggression.
Shhhhhhhh, ken... can you hear it? Justice is coming for you.
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marioW. at 6:37 AM July 12, 2011 Jezz Dude, I was taught that if something bad keeps happening to you, there is something you need to change. It appears just from your communication, if your speech is anything like your writing, your going to have problems with minorities. so called humans. lol yup sounds like a beat down to me.
Section 8 is not a race problem, its a poverty problem, people accustomed to poverty are less likely to mesh in an evironment that is different. That goes for brown, white, black, and all others. There is a house six blocks from me right now, on a simi busy street, where I bought a set of Rally wheels for my car, that has a large A frame engine pull device on a dirt and brown grass front yard with a driveway lot of broken down cars, and  a two car garage that is stacked to the roof in rubbish. Of a fairly descent home, with a half dressed, heavy set, long haired bearded white guy, with three kids stained from what could have been icecream drippings, and a fairly attractive female that smoked about 2 packs a day.Yup section 8.
Its not all section 8 recipients, but they ride in the same train because of the acts of the bad ones.
I would prefer not to live near any, because section 8 is like a box of candy, you never know which one your going to get.
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Soliel at 3:14 PM July 17, 2011 MarioW~
Although many poor act this way, I do not blame it on poverty.
I blame it on values/intelligence. Why? Because I have known and know many poor people who have considerate values, who would never act in such a way.
There are some wealthy celebrities who act awful, too.
It's values/intelligence/behavior..
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Anonymous. at 3:38 PM July 10, 2011 Interesting comments above me since the lawsuit is based on race.  Besides, take race out of it.  The people losing their Section 8 aren't following the rules.  Then add race back in.  Why is it that Blacks and hispanics can't follow the rules?  That's not a racist question.  If you don't want to bring race into it, they should follow the rules and the percentages that get kicked out will drop.
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DianaBeard-Williams at 3:57 PM July 10, 2011 The article clearly points out the OVER ZEALOUS attack on Section 8 recipients. Perhaps you should look at other behaviors of Mayor R. Rex Parris that smack of setting standards of performance for minorities, the poor and disenfranchied that aren't being presented for acceptance regarding any other group.  Mayor Rex offered bus tickets and a brown bag lunch to the homeless who wish to leave and dressed it up as goodwill.  He  suggested in public that Section 8 recipients who have a child with school attendance problems be put out of the program.  Wow!  Let's shove these people onto the streets because of school attendance problems.  Has he proposed anything for any other group like this....no!  He has made public comments about taking children away from parents who are in or affiliated with gangs.  Wow!  Just go in and break up the family. That will certainly get society back on track? He has put a black Planning Commissioner off the planning commision due to not voting how the mayor wanted him to. He has separated Lancaster from a 20 year old Human Relations Commission because the Commission disagreed with him on an issue. He started his own after all these years. The list goes on and on and on.  So tell me.....whether you say he is acting in a racist manner or bashing the poor....what does it matter?  Lancaster, CA is not a healthy place for minorities and the poor.
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buzalg at 4:23 PM July 10, 2011 Liberals desperately want to frame this issue in racial terms. Then toss out the race card and continue business as usual. Its all they know. Face the fact that too many Section 8ers in Lancaster and Palmdale are trouble making fools who have no respect for the community and trash the place. Follow the rules or get out. Its that simple. 
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deviantleft at 8:00 PM July 10, 2011 The article clearly points out the OVER ZEALOUS attack on Section 8 recipients.
what does that mean, inforcing the law is over zealous, like enforcing the illegals laws?
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lexxie at 11:36 PM July 10, 2011 California is one of the few place that puts up with the entitled attitude's of the poor. We have a 5 year life time limit for welfare, other states have considerable less. Ever wonder why were #1 in those collecting a check from the state to 'live' on (other people's money)????.....
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ole123 at 3:44 AM July 11, 2011 buzzalg,
It's never that simple.
The fact is that racists are drawn to this issue like flies to excrement, in order to  invariably side with law-enforcement, no matter they cross the line or not, except, especially if they crosses a line.
The commenter below your comment complained further down about having to basically share space with non whites. The commenter right below him in turn has disparaged Mexicans under other articles. So there you have two racists right under your own comment about racism not being an issue. It actually never was an issue  historically,  to its perpetrators.

jake_c at 2:37 PM July 10, 2011 Boo boo, if you want tax dollars to subsidize your family, you have to follow the rules. If the minorities don't like that- how about they try stop having more kids than they can afford and get a job like the rest of us.
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ole123 at 3:14 PM July 10, 2011 You just gave another blow to th 'white male' concept.
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DianaBeard-Williams at 3:20 PM July 10, 2011 Nothing like having the racist elements of our personalities come out in full force. Doesn't take much to bring out the stereotypes does it?
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deviantleft at 8:02 PM July 10, 2011 Boo boo, if you want tax dollars to subsidize your family, you have to follow the rules. If the minorities don't like that- how about they try stop having more kids than they can afford and get a job like the rest of us.
jagoffs, you are racist if you want people to follow the laws and you do not want to pay for people who do not?
jagoffs, you are racist if you want people to follow the laws and you do not want to pay for people who do not?
jagoffs, you are racist if you want people to follow the laws and you do not want to pay for people who do not?
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ole123 at 2:46 AM July 11, 2011 Notice how many agree with  Jake_c  the racist. I also promise you that  the first thing they'll do after supporting a racist like that is deny that they are racist, at all.
I also bet that some among them will have confronted any commenter that mentioned racial motifs behind the crackdown. Such a shame of racist scumbags, stereotying like that makes them come.
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buzalg at 2:21 PM July 10, 2011 I don't believe that the black and hispanic populations are inherently criminal and lazy. Quite the opposite. But the combination of racial victimhood indoctrination and liberal welfare programs like Section 8 has created generation after generation of crime and poverty. This is obvious to all but the most brainwashed liberal.     
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DianaBeard-Williams at 3:22 PM July 10, 2011 Gee thanks.  We aren't inherently criminal and lazy....we just can't help ourselves.  So instead of looking at the facts, let's just resort to assumptions eh?  People like you are the reason newspapers have to write on the 4th grade level.
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ole123 at 3:29 PM July 10, 2011 It could also be that some of them are legitimately poor and need a  place to live.
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buzalg at 3:53 PM July 10, 2011 Look at the facts. 50 years of liberal welfare programs to "end poverty" and indoctrination with racial victimhood has led to what? Generation after generation of crime and poverty. With no end in site. And legitimately poor people can find a place to live. My old studio apartment in  lovely East Baltimore rents for 269/mo.  
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deviantleft at 8:03 PM July 10, 2011 oh no buzalg you are not going to win this argument using common sense and logic and rational thought. this is some kind of trick right?
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deviantleft at 8:06 PM July 10, 2011 It could also be that some of them are legitimately poor and need a  place to live.
DUH!  7 billion people in the world and 2 billion do not have potable water.  Probably 4 billion do not live in structures we would call an abode.  So, are the few US CITIZENS ACTUALLY WORKING SUPPOSED TO GIVE EVERYONE HOUSING.I would love to give EVERYONE, EVERYONE, housing, education, water, medical care, lapdances, etc.  I do not know how, but please inform me and I will get right on it.   
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ole123 at 2:52 AM July 11, 2011 deviantleft, you're  a typical conservative, aren't you. Gotta bash the left in your very username, like some of your conservative brehtnren bashes the mayor or the president in theirs. Aside from proclaiming your disdain for helping others.
What do random numbers about 4 billion poor have to do with it? Are you nuts?  That's like saying we shouldn't vaccinate people since there are billions around the world in need of vaccinations. We also shouldn't educate kids since there are billions around the world in need of an education, etc.
Are you supposed to help them all personally? Why don't you ask Rush.
get help dude.
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plainsarcher at 2:13 PM July 10, 2011 I lived next to a Section 8 house for 14 years.  The people who lived there most of that time had absolutely no regard for anyone around them.  The Father kept giant cages full of lice infested, stench-ridden pigeons in the front yard, which he would regularly release to fly on a defecating Blitzkrieg through the neighborhood.  Troops of chickens roamed freely amid the constant crowing of his idiot roosters.
One early morning we awoke to discover a little old lady sweeping the dirt entrance to a drafty, ramshackle tool shed in their driveway.  It became readily apparent that they were having her sleep out there.
The son was a gang wannabe baldy who Fathered two children from different girlfriends.  He naturally had a pit bull which was never on a leash and he would watch stupidly as his visiting toddler son would pull on its ears, tempting providence.  After a few scary encounters, I let the actual owner of the house know that if that dog ever came near my children, he would be named in a very large negligence suit.  He claimed to be able to do nothing.
One night the son and his baldy friends got good and drunk and tore out our street sign.  That actually embarrassed the Father enough to cause him to put it back.  Later, an AK47 was fired in front of our house, with the shell casings left in the driveway of our very nice retired neighbor.  That is Section 8 housing.
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Speakonit123 at 2:32 PM July 10, 2011 Why not call the cops? I know if I had a neighbor in need of checking, I'd break him off. Why would you let someone treat you like that?
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DianaBeard-Williams at 3:24 PM July 10, 2011 Wow!  So you paint all Section 8 recipients of being "bad" because of your experience.  I had several Section 8 renters at one time.  They were the best tenants I ever had. Now what?  Does my experience trump your experience?  Yes, I think so. But what kind of neighbor are you.  I bet your neighbors would have some interesting things to say but that's okay because.....let me guess....you are not on Section 8.  Double standards apply right?
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deviantleft at 8:08 PM July 10, 2011 And you complain?  You got to live in a foreign country without leaving town.  All of us will have that opportunity in the near future.  viva la that diversity crap
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ole123 at 3:06 AM July 11, 2011 deviantright
 To actually say that non whites equal 'foriegners' and yet you suckers LIE about not being racist. You're Liars.
And YOU complain? What's the matter? What are you talking about. That your complaint about having to share space with 'non-whites' is a tragedy or something? Go to h racist.
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clxLAT at 2:01 PM July 10, 2011 I've seen cops looking for criminals without their guns drawn (small photo seen when "comments" is activated). The large photo claims Section 8, but what is a parole agent doing investigating violations of Section 8? Come on LA Times! Where did these emotion-stirring photos come from?
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DianaBeard-Williams at 3:26 PM July 10, 2011 I think those are the types of questions the lawsuit is asking too.  To assume the L.A. Times planted erroneous photos speaks to your embedded beliefs that anything that doesn't support your way of thinking must be planted.   I guess you didn't believe the Rodney King video either.
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Syscom at 1:54 PM July 10, 2011 I'd laugh if some section 8 housing was set up next to the homes of the LA Times opinon writers. And that goes for the judges and politicians who think the same way.
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Speakonit123 at 2:05 PM July 10, 2011 Some of us live in the ghetto. Stop being a scaredy cat.
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DianaBeard-Williams at 3:28 PM July 10, 2011 I have lived in lovely neighbors where there were no Section 8 houses and my neighbors were pigs.  So you are buying the label that Section 8 people are all horrible human beings?  Do me a favor.....never serve on a jury.  Impartial and objective is not your strong suite.
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ole123 at 3:34 PM July 10, 2011 LATimes headquarters is already located  next to skidrow.
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deviantleft at 8:10 PM July 10, 2011 You the dude man!
I would pay big money to see that. I am serious.  I might borrow $5000 to see that and move them into some of these whiny libtards!
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Wazoo2u2 at 1:25 PM July 10, 2011 Speakonit123 - "Zealots are using the word "fraud" as an excuse to racially cleanse their hood.
People of color have started to move in these areas and the establishment does not like it, plain and simple."
Wow, are you a section 8 renter? Cleanse the hood?  White folks live in neighborhoods, not 'hoods'-  where people behave and follow laws, and don't have numerous babies by numerous partners, and actually make an effort not to be noisy a--holes.  Whether white, black brown or anything else, people don't want to have people move in who ruin neighborhoods.  This has far less to do with race than you would like.
I wonder how you would respond if thousands of white trash hillbillies moved into your 'hood' and set up meth labs and started breaking into your home and car, etc.  Just remember that if you didn't like it, you would be labeled 'racist'.
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Speakonit123 at 1:38 PM July 10, 2011 Laws are only as good as those who enforce them.
Law enformcement can pick and choose what battles to fight. Sometimes the people in charge have an agenda(See Murdoch.).
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Speakonit123 at 1:41 PM July 10, 2011 Fox news reporter are you? The imagery you use by your words is scary. You like to play to emotion, but not to logic.
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madsircool at 2:36 PM July 10, 2011 speaky..you are the king of playing to emotion. Of playing on buzz words. Of ignoring the legitimate concerns of others.
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Speakonit123 at 2:43 PM July 10, 2011 The truth hurts, dont it?
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DianaBeard-Williams at 3:34 PM July 10, 2011 In the Antelope Valley...in the city of Lancaster, CA.... mayor R. Rex Parris is sometimes known as TRex or Boss Hog.  What he says goes.....He has ties to the Sheriff's Department and moves pieces of the puzzle around like a chess game.  He is widely feared.  His sidekick is the former state chairman and state treasurer of the Republican Party.  Sheriff Baca and Steve Cooley are his buddies.  He also has the ability to affect the court system.  He is no joke. His church, the Lancaster Baptist Church, enjoys a cozy relationshp with city government.  Check out the church's perks, benefits, and help from the city over a long period of time.  Welcome to our plantation when you vist with master Mayor R. Rex Parris calling the shots.
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Anonymous. at 3:40 PM July 10, 2011 So you're saying they aren't breaking the rules and are getting kicked out anyway?
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madsircool at 4:20 PM July 10, 2011 You tell me speaktoit. You avoid the truth when its inconvenient to you.
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deviantleft at 8:12 PM July 10, 2011 Ol yeah, section 8 sqatters with no jobs, no money, no nothing, THAT WILL PROP UP MY PROPERTY VALUES.  Thanks mate!
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cobravenom1 at 1:13 PM July 10, 2011 What exactly is this story proposing? If the housing authority provided the correct enforcement, there would be no issues! Why is the race card being used when fraud of my tax dollars has been identified and corrected? The article even cites that the section-8 participant goes through a rigorous selection process. OK, so what about everyone else that is taking advantage of my hard earned income. I feel as if I am raising my family and their family too every tax season. I'll agree with the general law abidding consensus and request that section-8 program be terminated.
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DianaBeard-Williams at 3:37 PM July 10, 2011 Maybe you need to read the story again.....a little more slowly....pronouncing each word out loud.  Try invisioning someone banging on your door early in the morning, just as daybreak graces the sky.  Think not about your tax dollars for once .... think about the idea of a group of armed agency personnel wanting to suddenly search your home.  Now, if you have any sensitivity in your heart at all, wouldn't that scare the crap out of anyone?  The story is saying there is a process and protocol and an acceptable way to do something and an unacceptable way.  Figure it out ok?
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cobravenom1 at 11:17 PM July 10, 2011 Hey diana, I don't have to worry about the cops busting down my door for anything. I've been working and paying into the tax system since I was 14yrs old. Never had to rely on anyone to take care of me no matter how bad things got. You ASSume too much from my post. I've spent my entire life doing things you only read books about. I've received awards from the President's office for my work with the impovorished and troubled youth of America. I don't need to attack others who have responded because I have respect for anyone who is willing to give intelligent input. Maybe you need for me to explain posting manners at a 4th grade level. So go back to your little rental properties slum lord and you can continue to live off of my tax dollars too!
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IHateTheLATimes at 1:02 PM July 10, 2011 The solution to this problem is to end the section 8 program, and all other similar housing subsidies.  You should live where you can afford to live.  If you can't afford to live in CA, you should move to a state that is more affordable.
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Wazoo2u2 at 1:14 PM July 10, 2011 Absolutely!  I can remember a section 8 couple that lived next door in Laguna Hills in the early 90's.  They staye one year, and in that time reuilt their motorcycle on the living room carpet, and otherwise trashed th house.  People don't want to see HUD signs because ghetto trash ruins neighborhoods the way locusts devour crops.  HUD stands for 'Harbinger of Urban Decay'.
Section 8 renters do not care about enaything but their entitlements, and not getting caught in their criminal activities.
By the way, the section 8 motorcyclists were white trash.
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ole123 at 3:39 PM July 10, 2011 I'd like to add to that, that those who can't tolerate CA's racial diversity should move to a state that is less diverse.
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DianaBeard-Williams at 3:40 PM July 10, 2011 Maybe you would be surprised to know that Mayor R. Rex Parris tried that one.  He claimed he was using his own money when he offered the homeless a free bus ticket complete with a box lunch to anywhere they wanted to go. See how creative he can be.  There may be a place for you on his team!  You are showing signs of being his kind of person. By the way, have you ever been down on your luck?  Hopefully your turn will come and you can have someone offer you a free bus ticket to get the heck out of town.  Wouldn't that be so Christian of them?
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deviantleft at 8:15 PM July 10, 2011 oh no you ain't gonna get me with the logic that you should live where you can afford.  You meanie!  This is a free country and people should be able to live whereever they want, and, if they cannot afford it taxpayers should pay for it!
Gosh, I felt a thrill up my leggo when I wrote that.
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deviantleft at 8:17 PM July 10, 2011 I'd like to add to that, that those who can't tolerate CA's racial diversity should move to a state that is less diverse.
HAHAHAHAHA! I DID!  Your state is bankrupt financially and morally.  I think it's sustainable.  
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deviantleft at 8:19 PM July 10, 2011 slantitis. Wouldn't that be so Christian of them?
You are knowledagable of the bible?
Great, what does the bible say about people who will not work?
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deviantleft at 8:24 PM July 10, 2011 skantitis.  By the way, have you ever been down on your luck?
There are many that are down on their luck now. Ever read about the great depression?  PEOPLE DID ANYTHING THEY COULD TO EARN A LIVING.
There was no 50% of taxpayers paying for everyone else.  People went door to door begging to work for a meal.  People sold apples on the street.
Today, thanks to libtard whiny people like you they just need to to the local office and be given free housing FOR LIFE.  AND FOOD STAMPS FOR LIFE.  AND UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FOR YEARS.
Nobody objects to helping people who help themselves but people on the dole for a lifetime, well, you pay for them diana got several last names and a beard.
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ole123 at 4:12 AM July 11, 2011 deviantright
You, a blatant racist,  called California immoral. Who are you to call anyone immoral?
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KevinT1 at 12:57 PM July 10, 2011 Perhaps the Left Angeles Times should back its editorial policy by offering to accept Section 8 tenants in its editorial office space. I work in South-Central-excuse me, South Los Angeles- and I have a hard time believing that anyone, no matter how detached from reality, would embrace a messy tenant with a permanently-attached cell phone whose three to six children have three to six fathers. Section 8 creates a taxpayer-supported false economy and encourages aberrant behavior. Is everyone on Section 8 bad? OF COURSE NOT! But you can't fault a community for taking steps to maintain some semblence of order.
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DianaBeard-Williams at 3:42 PM July 10, 2011 Kevin Ti.....did we fault a community when they chose to hang black people from trees and cut off the men's genitalia as souvenirs?  Sure the community was trying to clean up the neighborhood but were they doing it in the right way.  I would hope that you would find fault with that kind of action.
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cobravenom1 at 12:13 AM July 11, 2011 Really diana, going to such an extreme to point out something that has no relation to this story or response. You are such a drama hunting queen. Murder of a minority compared to public assistance fraud! Really! It seems to me that you are the racist here.
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williemoe77 at 12:56 PM July 10, 2011 So why don"t they go aggressively against illegal immigration  in L.A. County? There's much more fraud committed by illegal aliens than Section 8 recipient, where's the fairness in all this?
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DianaBeard-Williams at 3:45 PM July 10, 2011 Thank you!  Where is the fairness in any of this that is happening in Lancaster, CA.  Oops!  We aren't suppose to talk about fraud committed by government officials are we.....not unless you live in Bell, CA and other cities recently identified.  I remember when Lancaster city council members Debra Shelton and Michael Singer would send information to the FBI and Department of Criminal Justice about Lancaster deals they wre concerned about.  They got put out of office and the FBI did nothing about their complaints.  Who was protecting the same group that included the current mayor back then?  Now the mayor is in the cat bird's seat.
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areeda at 12:52 PM July 10, 2011 I don't understand the logic.  It sounds a lot like the same ones the Times uses when discussing immigration laws.
Most people breaking these laws belong to a certain racial or ethinc group therefore enforcing the laws is racist.  Hogwash!
Another one is the silly argument against checking eligibility for many of the State's entitlement programs.  The argument, if I understand it right, is the law says only US citizens and legal residents are eligible but when we checked everybody we caught so few people it's not worth checking anymore.  So why do we check ID in bars, how many people do they catch that way?
I realize some people require housing assistance and I understand there are statistical disparities on the racial makeup of different programs.  That is all well and good, but it doesn't justify fraud and a lack of effort to enforce the rules of the programs.
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Speakonit123 at 1:00 PM July 10, 2011 Zealots are using the word "fraud" as an excuse to racially cleanse their hood.
People of color have started to move in these areas and the establishment does not like it, plain and simple.
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areeda at 2:53 PM July 10, 2011 Just curious what word do you use to describe accepting public funds under false pretenses?
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Speakonit123 at 3:01 PM July 10, 2011 If we really want to attack fraud, we should go after people like Robber Barron Murdoch, who hides his money in tax shelters to avoid paying his fair share
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DianaBeard-Williams at 3:47 PM July 10, 2011 Please read the story again.....slowly this time.  The point is that the investigators are going over the top!  Get it now.  It is one thing to in-ves-ti-gate.  It is another thing to in-tim-i-date!  Wow, I think you have it now.
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areeda at 8:07 PM July 10, 2011 OK Diana, I read the story again, and asked my children to explain all the big words.
It sounds to me like many people have been found in violation of Section 8 rules and regulations giving the housing authority ample justification for the evictions.
I didn't see anything about anyone in compliance being evicted.  Did you?
I also didn't see anyone following the rules being intimidated, or do you feel any presence of law enforcement is intimidating?
How would you suggest investigations could be less intimidating and still be safe for the invesitgators?
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cobravenom1 at 11:38 PM July 10, 2011 Diana, you would'nt know how to investigate a leaking bucket problem. Stick to pretending to be intelligent about walking and breathing at the same time.
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epespinoza8143 at 12:26 PM July 10, 2011 Antonovich sanctioned.
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jskdn2 at 11:55 AM July 10, 2011 "We are all for aggressively cracking down on crime, whether it's Section 8 fraud or anything else."

Who believes that? Neither the LA Times articles on the claims by a race organization nor this editorial on it provide evidence that those kicked out for fraud were kicked out in error. Yet that doesn't keep the editors from calling it "overzealous." And the notion that because "85% of the Section 8 households are black or Latino', they should be exempt from having to follow the rules is ridiculous.

Section 8 is a horrible program that encourages sloth. Having no jobs is not a problem as most of the people getting Section 8 don't want to work. Instead they tend to beneficiaries of multiple welfare programs. And unlike cash welfare Section 8 isn't time-limited. I know people who have been on it for decades and will likely die on it. Furthermore most have to plan years in advance to get on the program because it is not an entitlement program and tends to have long-waiting lists. It provides a free ride to small group of the overall population that qualifies for the program and nothing to most.
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DianaBeard-Williams at 12:13 PM July 10, 2011 It is shocking that the L.A. Times would finally notice what is happening the Antelope Valley.  The racism is astounding and blatant.  It does not matter that the mayor has used the voice of a black pastor named Henry Hearns, former Lancaster mayor, to make black people see him as other than racist. Parris has even dared to publicly state at a city council meeting that he wanted the housing authority to investigate how he and the city could put an ordinance in place to take away Section 8 vouchers if a child did not attend school.  Schools are already handling the attenance issue. So now Parris wants to throw these families out on the street because of a rebellious child.  When does he stop attacking the poor, blacks, latinos and the disenfranchised?
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madsircool at 12:19 PM July 10, 2011 Diane..maybe because the poor..black, white and brown..bring lots of undesirable problems with them. And then bring the poverty to new neighborhoods. Maybe strict incentives for the poor to behave will help them better their lives.
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Speakonit123 at 12:27 PM July 10, 2011 "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed."
Madsircool, your wrong on this one. People have a right to get out of the ghetto. The ghetto life is a perpetual degeneration of society.
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madsircool at 12:32 PM July 10, 2011 I agree that people have a right to get out of the ghetto; the right way. But people dont have the right to import the ghetto to another neighborhood.
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Cheese_Wonton at 12:51 PM July 10, 2011 Drive around some of the neighborhoods on either side of Sierra Highway north of Avenue K.  They have concrete block walls along the major arterial streets much as you would see in the newer sections of Orange County. But, drive inside these neighborhoods and the dilapidation is eye popping.  These are ten and twenty year old homes, still modern in every way, but the peeled paint, the bad roofs, sagging planter boxes and brown lawns tell another story.  And it isn't just a few homes or the section 8 homes, but the great majority already look worn out.  Much the same is true in Palmdale.
I was stunned the other day to see the condition of homes in Quartz Hill.  I saw a property for sale there and thought it could be a good place to buy an investment property.  That used to be a nice place to live, but no more.  When I was younger it was a place people moved to from the Valley to have a nicer home than they could afford in the Valley.  Today it's a dump.  Lancaster has problems with it's residents letting their homes and neighborhoods to to pot.  Section 8 is just a part of the problem.  
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ole123 at 3:45 PM July 10, 2011 Of course existing  concerns about crime or blight don't automatically negate existing racial motifs.
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Pasquino Marforio at 11:50 AM July 10, 2011 LOL.  Isn't that sweet.   Cleaning up the corruption of section 8 housing benefits is now equal to  "a deliberate attempt to re-segregate their historically virtually all-white communities."
So the NAACP is saying that if you wanted corruption free communities, you need to expell all blacks and latinos.
Got it.
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DianaBeard-Williams at 12:26 PM July 10, 2011 The racist and rancid attitudes of the mayor of Lancaster are not just confined to the Section 8 Program.  They cloud his judgment in many areas of his public service.  When the 20 plus year old Human Relations Task Force disagreed with actions he had taken on another issue, he put up a wall between Lancaster and the commission and started his own. When a black Planning Commissioner did not vote the way Mayor  instructed him through an emissary to vote on a WalMart deal, he put the young black man off the commission and replaced him with a black woman so the community could not balk.  He painted the young man as trying to engage in questionable i while the young man was on military reserve duty and could not defend himself.  Parris blatantly has turned Lancaster into his plantation complete with a master - servant mentality. With his private security force all around him as well as the local police, he acts like a mayor under siege and yet he and his entourage are the ones doing all the attacking.
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JeffThurman at 11:26 AM July 10, 2011 I applaud Palmdale and Lancaster for trying to clean up fraud in the Section 8 program.  I wish the leaders in San Bernardino had the same fortitude.  My parents settled in San Bernardino in 1953.  The air was fragrant with citrus blossoms, the neighborhoods clean.  The City is now a ghetto, crime is rampant, graffiti everywhere, our streets littered with the trash.  As for my family, they've all moved out of state.  I'm next.
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Speakonit123 at 11:47 AM July 10, 2011 Aww... I bet it was just like one of those Norman Rockwell pictures, wasn't it.
Norman would later gave great guilt for the false images he produced. To his credit, in the later stages of his career he painted real images of America.
Have you ever seen the Rockwell's drawing of a little black girl being escorted by US Marshals? Epic
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Speakonit123 at 12:15 PM July 10, 2011 http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_CijcaA9yq58/TDE6r54sW1I/AAAAAAAAGPg/EuPTPzVcdnc/s1600/good+Black+Girl+Escorted.JPG
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ole123 at 4:30 PM July 10, 2011 I'm fairly certain not many racial minorities would agree with your rosy depiction of 1953. Let alone the several following years and decade/s, which include several major racist incidents.
Just imagine had you been forced by the authorities  to move elsewhere, which was the case for racial minorities back then, and you might reconsider the victim card.
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Speakonit123 at 11:21 AM July 10, 2011 Wow, LA Times. With Murdoch on the ropes, it makes you feel good to actually get a fair and balanced view of blatant racism. Keep peeling the onion LA Times, there's plenty of smoke out there... Plenty of hidden fires, that have been allowed to smolder for too long.
Love it!
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madsircool at 12:11 PM July 10, 2011 Is the blatant racism that blacks are vastly overrepresented in the Section 8 program?
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fosterlucy at 11:16 AM July 10, 2011 OK, the Times knows there is fraud out there and fraud is terrible, but you don't want the rules enforced because it may harm the blak community?  Great logic.  You conveniently did not report what the number of days a guest can stay at tax payer supported residence before they become an illegal tennant.  Many people on public assistance view it as a way of life and will do nothing to get off of public assistance, whether they are criminals or not, life is too easy on the public dole.  I do agree however that enforcement should be just as aggressive county wide.
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Gordon1 at 10:29 PM July 10, 2011 Not just county wide - make that state wide.
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Gogogto at 10:42 AM July 10, 2011 Why would any city want the increased crime and drain on social services that comes with Section 8 housing?  Why are 78% of the Section 8 vouchers going to blacks, when they are only 9% of the population of Los Angeles County.  Doesn't that reek of racism?  It appears that law enforcement is attempting to do it's job, the question is why it is not working as hard in the rest of the county?  The answer of course is politics.  So much of Los Angeles politics are based on separating groups by race or ethnicity so their votes can be purchased with handouts.  It is time to end this race-baiting welfare society.
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maskman1 at 9:38 AM July 10, 2011 The Section 8 Program is an essential lifeline to millions of Americans in need, however when fraudulent activity within the voucher program is allowed to bloat the system because of inadequate enforcement, all responsible Section 8 residents are the victims, public resources are wasted, and the integrity of the Section 8 Program is damaged.

Landlords can also be victimized due to Section 8 fraud. As a former Antelope Valley Section 8 landlord from 1999 to 2006, I can attest to the Housing Authority frequently "turning a blind eye" to fraud committed by their voucher holders. I was frustrated by inconsistent enforcement of basic Section 8 rules such as allowing unauthorized residents to reside in units, falsification of income or jobs, or even allowing a known felon to enter the Section 8 program - and without first advising the landlord/lessor of the status.

If responsible, honest citizens must wait in line, sometimes for years, to participate in the Section 8 Program, then fraudulent behavior should clearly not be tolerated, in order to provide the maximum possible benefits to those participants who follow the rules.
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madsircool at 12:07 PM July 10, 2011 I agree with everything maskman says.
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Speakonit123 at 4:49 PM July 10, 2011 Fighting fraud is great. But, one needs to ask of if the Establishment in this city is looking for ways to get rid of blacks. If a white person moves into Lancaster, is he being questioned about being on section 8? If this issue is really looked into, the overwhelming answer will be "hell no."
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Ricardoh at 8:13 AM July 10, 2011 Section 8 housing along with many other forms of welfare are the reason this country has a high school dropout rate of over 35%. It is the reason so many children are being raised by single mothers who have no control over their children. Welfare is the reason every large metropolitan area has mutable murders daily. The more welfare a government gives out the more the need for welfare will grow. When the government disturbs the natural order of things it will eventually see its own demise.
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DianaBeard-Williams at 12:34 PM July 10, 2011 Excuse me Recardoh....what statistics exacly are you basing your opinion on or are you all mouth and simply shoting from the hip? Since when did Section 8 become the whipping post for all of society's ills? So because someone is on Section 8 they are horrible people, should be thrown into the streets, treated in an animalistic way and socially canibalized?  What people fail to think about is how many of you kind, generous and loving folks are employed in the Poverty Area?  If there was no poverty many of you would be applying for Section 8 and all kinds of public assistance. Then Section 8 would be a good thing eh? What a righteous self-absorbed human being you are Ricardoh.  I think Mayor Parris has the perfect spot for you on his Section 8 bully team.
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stephanie_202 at 1:25 PM July 10, 2011 I need Section 8 because I am disabled and survive on Social Security Disability. I am not on welfare!
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Syscom at 1:51 PM July 10, 2011 stephanie_202 ... and you are part of 15% who do not cause problems.
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ole123 at 3:54 PM July 10, 2011 On the other hand, the more welfare a government refuses the more the need for welfare will grow.
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cobravenom1 at 11:51 PM July 10, 2011 diana, where did you come up with some kinda fact about anyone needing poverty areas for a living! By all means please enlighten the feeble minded masses that bow before your all encompassing intelligence.
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tinner110 at 3:56 AM July 10, 2011  Its way past time for a crack down
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DaveMarsh at 9:42 AM July 10, 2011 They smoke lots of crack down in Lancaster too.
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DianaBeard-Williams at 12:36 PM July 10, 2011 And Lancaster is just another Bell, California.  Let's keep it real.  If you go after blacks, latinos and the poor....don't forget to put your sins on the table too. Check out the city's deals with their friends.
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lexxie at 2:48 PM July 10, 2011 You first DianaBeard-Williams, but then you do put it out there for all to see...
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O2012red at 1:20 AM July 10, 2011 Rex Parris is an ambulance chasing attorney who's using his political position to preserve a version of Los Angeles (city and county) that no longer exists. The "white spot" dream of pale-faced residents living in suburban bliss with blacks contained in racially stratified inner cities is gone forever. The pursuit of so-called Section 8 violations are a ruse for discouraging blacks and Hispanics from moving to Palmdale and Lancaster. Why any black or Hispanic person would want to live in those places is beyond me, but their constitutional right to do so without racial harrassment from the city and its mayor is beyond reproach.
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Prince albert at 12:28 AM July 10, 2011 So, the LA Times position is this : if a section 8 housing participant is breaking the rules they should not be held accountable.
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Costa Mesa resident at 12:21 AM July 11, 2011 But if your friends and family members break the rules when it comes to applying for a loan or filing income tax returns, then whatever consequences vulnerable people would face should not apply to your friends and family members.  I seriously doubt you're a believer in equal enforcement.
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Computer Forensics Expert at 11:08 PM July 9, 2011 Sorry, but I pay my mortgage and taxes.  Section 8a Housing should be terminated after 12 months, no matter what the racial make-up is.
If the people who are Section 8a recipients are predominantly black, then they need to do something about taking the responsibility of getting a job and not living off the government teat, all of their lives, from generation to generation.  this race-based baloney ended in the 70's.  If these people are younger than 40 years of age, save the "repression" chatter for someone who knows and cares whats going on. 
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stephanie_202 at 1:24 PM July 10, 2011 Hello! I am on Section 8 because I am on Social Secuirty Disability for mental illnesses and have been so for 20 years. I only get $762 a month. That's below poerty level. I also get Food Stamps, Medicare, and Medi-Cal, as well as Lifeline (low proce phone). I resent you comments about Section 8 people. how are disabled and elderly supposed to live?
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Speakonit123 at 1:52 PM July 10, 2011 On the street. Now off with you sucka.
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lexxie at 2:49 PM July 10, 2011 You are on assistance because you're mentally ill. Must be nice having us taxpayers pay for your life because you refuse to take your medication...
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lexxie at 2:50 PM July 10, 2011 Tell me, who EXACTLY pays for your internet connection?
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Speakonit123 at 3:03 PM July 10, 2011 Too freakin funny Lexxie. Oh my god.
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George2 at 3:31 PM July 10, 2011 Too many idle people is gonna make big trouble. Get up. get out, and git somethin. Git a job, go to school, turn off the TV. Follow rules or pay your own way.
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Costa Mesa resident at 12:18 AM July 11, 2011 Speakonit, if you have no problem with kicking the most vulnerable people out on the street, then I guess you will have no problem if they decide to relieve themselves on your property.  In that situation, you would have no right to whine and complain about it since you're the one that put them there.