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CES Opposes Attacks on African American Section 8 Tenants by City of Lancaster

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Coalition for Economic Survival Executive Director Debates Lancaster Mayor Over City's Attacks on Section 8 Tenants

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Officials of the City of Lancaster in the high desert area of Los Angeles County has been waging a war against low-income Section 8 rent subsidy tenants for some time. Lancaster officials have attempted to reduce the number of its Section 8 tenants by accusing them of being responsible for crime in the area, hiring housing aut   hority  inspectors to intimidate and harass them and attempting to pass laws to deny business licenses to landlords who accept Section 8 vouchers. These actions have created an atmosphere of fear for low income tenants and has even result in physical attacks to Section 8 renters.

Civil rights groups have filed discrimination suits against Lancaster, the Los Angeles County Bound of Supervisors have eliminated funds of the additional housing inspectors and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development has threatened to cut hundreds of thousand of dollars in federal funds to the city.

Now Lancaster has out done its previous actions. The city has filed a complaint alleging Los Angeles County and its housing authority unlawfully favor African Americans when granting vouchers for Section 8 housing.
Coalition for Economic Survival Executive Director Larry Gross debated Lancaster Mayor Rex Parris on Lancaster's latest attempt to rid the city of Section 8 tenants on Friday, March 16, 2012 on the David Cruz radio program heard on KTLK 1150 am between 3 and 6 p.m.

Gross states that the city's action, "brings racism to new heights, or rather new lows." Gross charges that, "Lancaster officials seem to be wishing that their city was located in 1963 Mississippi, , instead of 2012 LA County."



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Recent newspaper articles, some including CES' responses, reporting on the various attacks on Lancaster African America Section 8 tenants. Click on article to read.
March 15, 2012  
Lancaster complaint accuses Los Angeles County of bias in housing  
Officials say the housing authority favors blacks for Section 8 vouchers and markets the city to them. The agency's chief says deciding where to live is up to recipients of the federal aid for the needy. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012
L.A. County to Stop Funding Extra High Desert Housing Investigators 
Lancaster and Palmdale, Targets of a Civil Rights Lawsuit, Say They Need the Added Manpower to Ensure Compliance With Rules of the Federal Section 8 Subsidized Housing Program

Friday April 10, 2009
Lancaster Proposes Limiting Section 8
Housing Amendments to the city's rental ordinance would allow business licenses to be withheld from landlords who want to rent to such tenants. Affordable housing advocates condemn the plan.


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Larry Gross is the Executive Director of the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES). He has been with CES for 42 years, since its inception in 1973. CES is a grassroots, multi-racial, multi-ethnic tenants' rights organization serving low and (more...)

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