Parris on Section 8 press conference: What they’re telling you is a lie!

LANCASTER – At a press conference Thursday, civil rights groups lauded the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for approving a settlement agreement in response to a lawsuit that accuses Lancaster and Palmdale of discriminating against Section 8 tenants. The groups called on the two cities to follow the County’s lead.

Not going to happen, said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris, when contacted Thursday.

“Just because the County ran doesn’t mean we’re gonna run,” Parris said. “This is really a situation where the way they’re administering a federal program is detrimental to the well-being of the hardworking families in this community and I’m not going to be silent about it just because some people roll over the Board of Supervisors.”

Parris said the lawsuit, which claims housing authority investigators, sheriff’s deputies and local politicians harass and discriminate against minority Section 8 voucher holders, is without merit.

“These guys can stand up there and do a press conference and lie all they want but look at the documents,” he said. “When you look at the documents you go ‘first of all, the allegations are totally without support’ and second of all, what they’re telling you is a lie.” [Read the entire complaint here.]

Parris vehemently disagrees that the lawsuit is about racial discrimination.

“That’s an absolutely lie, it’s only about fraud,” he said. “If not, then why did they eviscerate the investigators who investigate any type of fraud? They didn’t attack the way investigations are done, they got rid of the investigators. How could it be anything else?”

Parris said the County’s settlement agreement, passed on a 4-1 vote Tuesday, was a disgrace and would endanger the people of the community he was voted to lead.

“That’s why Michael Antonovich voted against it,” Parris said. “The people who voted for it, they don’t live in those neighborhoods, they don’t have to deal with these problems. The person whose district it is, voted against it.”

Parris said he submitted his own proposal about a month ago to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

“They made a proposal, HUD added to it, and then we made a counter proposal,” he said.

Parris’ counter proposal contains 18 provisions. Among them, a provision calling for HUD to conduct studies to determine correlations between the geographic concentration of Section 8 Voucher holders and mortality rates, availability of healthcare, and violent crime and property crime within Lancaster and Antelope Valley. If the studies show a correlation between geographic concentration of Section 8 Voucher holders and any of the factors considered, then HUD and the Housing Authority would work to limit the amount of Section 8 tenants and landlord agreements until the factors could be addressed. The counter proposal also calls for law enforcement to alert the Housing Authority if Section 8 tenants are arrested or convicted of disqualifying crimes.

Read the entire counter proposal here.

Palmdale City officials are reserving comment on the County’s settlement agreement until after the next City Council meeting.

“The City Council intends to discuss the pending litigation at its next regularly scheduled meeting on Feb. 1, and I anticipate that a formal statement regarding this matter will be released shortly thereafter,” wrote Palmdale Assistant City Attorney Noel Doran in a statement.

  21 comments for “Parris on Section 8 press conference: What they’re telling you is a lie!

  1. William
    February 2, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    It seems from the start that Parris’s big mouth and heavy handedness brought the hammer down on both Lancaster and Palmdale. I never thought that Palmdale was being overly aggressive toward Section 8 renters. Did Parris cause the whole Antelope Valley to be painted with a broad brush?

  2. Marie
    February 2, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    AV News opinion piece suggested that anyone harmed by someone living on Section 8 that the LA County Housing Authority did not screen properly or that investigators failed to check on and remove from the program should sue the LA County Board of Supervisors, demand restitution from their own wallets and have them serve time for the crime also. Now that Palmdale “leaders” have folded and run for cover, perhaps Palmdale residents harmed by Section 8 recipients should add the city of Palmdale and its officials to that list to demand restitution from. Hard working residents and legitimate, honest people on Section 8 should not suffer because of those committing fraud and crimes, the NAACP or TCAL!!! Whether you like Lancaster or its mayor or not, at least they have the guts to stand up for what is right! Sorry Palmdale, but you,like the Supervisors will be nothing more cowards as far as I am concerned. You failed your resident!

  3. Stinger
    January 29, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    Of course you can believe what Parris says. He’s an attorney, and we all know that attorney’s never lie…

  4. S Medrano
    January 29, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Would someone please give me the #’s on how many section 8 renters are also collecting welfare and then let’s tally up if any of those Americans actually work or ever look for work. Just because you are given aid when you’re down on your luck does not mean It’s forever! We all need to stop giving excuses for the slackers

    • T.
      January 29, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! well said!!!!!

      • S Medrano
        January 30, 2012 at 8:57 am

        FYI…got up @5:00 AM today to leave for work because that’s what I have to do to pay my rent & feed my kids…have a great day in the Antelope Valley!

    • Chris
      February 1, 2012 at 12:43 pm

      And that is what Rex is trying to do!!

      • Stinger
        February 1, 2012 at 1:17 pm

        Not true, sir. Parris already has access to a recent study done in Lancaster that the results didn’t fit into his little world of bloviating. His idea is to try to delay, harass, and weasel his way out of having to do things right.

        He’s an attorney – an incompetent one, to be sure, but an attorney nonetheless – and that is what they do.

        • S Medrano
          February 2, 2012 at 8:06 pm

          Section 8 is no different then collecting welfare….as I said if ur down on ur luck we help until ur back on ur feet…no slackers working the system which has allowed so many dis-honest Americans to take advantage and now our broke system can’t figure out how to get control of their mess. I contribute every week from my hard earned paycheck and frankly I’m a lil tired! I would love to buy a new car, Hmmmm can’t, gotta pay the rent!

  5. john
    January 27, 2012 at 11:28 am

    If everyone watched their kids and babies daddies,took shopping carts back,kept broken cars off the street and cut your lawn from time to time then no problem, but these problems that are common to section 8. Hood style living is shocking and unacceptable to some, for some its normal and thats why YOU dont understand.

    • HA!
      January 27, 2012 at 11:41 am

      no kidding!!!!!!!!

  6. AV Town Crier
    January 27, 2012 at 7:28 am

    I think Parris is right on this one. Though, I don’t agree with the heavy-handiness that was used in the enforcement. I don’t agree with how he states things. But the fact remains that there was (and continues to be)a lot of fraud in the Section 8 program.

    I don’t think the issue is racial as over 90% of the section 8 families (Legal and illegal) are minorities. it stands to reason then, that any investigation of section 8 will be dealing with minorities.

    Again, the issue of race is just the ole race card being played.

    • Stinger
      January 27, 2012 at 1:12 pm

      From where do you get the statistic of “over 90% of the section 8 families (Legal and illegal) are minorities.”?

      • AV Town Crier
        January 28, 2012 at 8:12 am

        The 90% figure came from stats that were published a few weeks ago. The group filing the lawsuit (I can’t remember the name of the organization, sorry about that) used those figures as well as a spokesperson for either Palmdale or Lancaster (again, memory fails me here as to whom it was) but both sides bandied those same stats at the time. I believe they got the info from HUD.

        • Stinger
          January 28, 2012 at 3:16 pm

          If you got your stats from the plaintiffs in this case, then you should also be aware that the amount of fraud in Section 8 is actually very small, statistically, and does not support the “enforcement” methodologies in play by Parris and Company.

          To reiterate: I do not like Section 8 housing. But my reason for this has nothing to do with crime or fraud in the program because these are hyperbole projected by idiot politicians trying to further their own agendas. The truth is that there is no more crime or fraud with Section 8 housing than any other rental properties… This is established fact (and Parris damn well knows it, too!). The REAL problem with Section 8 has to do with affordable housing for everybody else who is NOT on Section 8. Section 8 destroys affodable housing in the area in which it has any significant usage because it drives rental rates up by owners looking to profit from Section 8 tenants.

          • Jaime
            January 30, 2012 at 3:03 pm

            A good friend that lives in Lancaster had his car broken into weeks after a section 8 family moved in down the street. And one of the teens from the section 8 house was the culprit so I have to disagree with you.

          • William
            January 30, 2012 at 8:05 pm

            Thank you. Why is the government subsidizing the rents for those landlords who would otherwise have to rent on the open market?

  7. Stinger
    January 27, 2012 at 2:06 am

    As usual, Parris tries to BS his way through by calling everyone else liars when it is he, himself, who has been lying all along.

    How about if he pulls up the study done at the behest of the city before he got into office that proves that Section 8 does NOT increase crime any more than any other rental housing does? He won’t, because it would shatter the fear-mongering he and his koolaid drinking groupies spout off every day to try to divide the city in “us” and “them.”

    First rule of dictatorship – always keep your opposition at war with each other. In Parris’ case, the entire city is potential opposition, so he tries to keep everybody separated from each other and at war with each other.

    All this hullaballoo of his about Section 8 is just blowing smoke to cover his abuses of the people, which continue everyday.

    Soon, Parris, soon… Your prison cell is waiting…

    • Jossie
      January 27, 2012 at 5:31 am

      Smoke, smoke, amd more smoke, and we all what orifice that is comming out of…Mayor Parris is a bully, he has declare war on families in section 8, these are families lifes you are turning into nightmare, there are children involved, you MORON, you first divide the city using prayer as an excuse so that you can go on Fox News, now you are telling the hole world that crime in the city has decline because we have bird music on the Blvd, and the list goes on, you Sir, Mr. Parris are big bully and a total MORON, I wonder if he is having flash backs from his drug fulled days.

    • Jaime
      January 30, 2012 at 3:11 pm

      Wow, one of the most “out there” comments I have read in a while. Although disturbing, at least it was entertaining.

      • Stinger
        January 30, 2012 at 10:06 pm

        Enjoy the koolaid, “Jaime.”

        That’s what I find so darn funny about these Parrisite Zombies: Even if you agree on the end goal, but you don’t believe exactly the same stupidity that they do, then you must be vilified and lied about.

        And this is what they call “Building a Christian City.” The Taliban would be so proud…

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