Lancaster resolves Section 8 lawsuit, both sides to form committee

(L to R) TCAL Board Member V. Jesse Smith, Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris, TCAL Board Member Emmett Murrell and Lancaster Council Member Sandra Johnson. After a long public battle, the parties have agreed to put aside their differences and work together to benefit Lancaster.

LANCASTER – Flanked by leaders of the NAACP and The Community Action League, Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris announced Wednesday that the parties have reached an agreement in the Section 8 discrimination lawsuit against Lancaster.

“I’m looking forward to working with these guys, they’re good men and bright men and we seem to want the same things,” Parris said. “It’s quite frankly a lot more productive to play together than to fight.”

The agreement resolves a federal fair housing lawsuit, filed in June 2011, by the NAACP, TCAL, and three Section 8 tenants, claiming Black and Latino families using Section 8 housing vouchers in Lancaster and Palmdale were victims of constant, unbearable harassment at the hands of housing authority investigators, sheriff’s deputies and local politicians. (Read the entire complaint here).

Though not named in the lawsuit, the County of Los Angeles reached a settlement related to the allegations in January of this year. (Read more here). Palmdale followed about a week later. (Read more here).

At the time, Parris blasted both entities for settling the allegations and vowed that Lancaster would fight the lawsuit all the way to the end. (Read more here, here and here). Both sides continued to attack each other publicly for the better part of the year.

“We painted each other as the devil in the press,” Parris said.

AV-NAACP President Juan Blanco shakes hands with Mayor R. Rex Parris.

“We had villainized one another to the point where we probably thought we could not heal,” said TCAL Board Member Emmett Murrell. “It was a mistake.”

After a long contentious public battle, both sides finally decided to put their differences aside and talk to each other, Parris said.

“We found that it was far more things we agreed about, than we disagreed,” Parris said. “As mayor, I should have made that phone call and I did not, and I apologize for that.”

“His paradigm has changed and our paradigm has changed, that’s why we’re at this table,” said AV-NAACP President Juan Blanco. “I am pleased and tickled pink that we are here to make this progress.”

According to the terms of the Agreement, which was signed and dated by both parties and their attorneys:

  • Lancaster agrees to abide by all federal, state and local laws requiring fair housing opportunities for all people regardless of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin or source of income.
  • City officials will not convey a message that Section 8 tenants are not welcome in the city because of their race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin or source of income.
  • The city will post a statement on its official website and in city offices stating that Lancaster is committed to fair housing opportunities for all citizens, regardless of race, religion, familial status or source of income.

As part of the Agreement, the city will also create a “Community Working Group” within the next 90 days to promote understanding and cooperation between the parties and city representatives.

The seven-member committee will consist of the mayor and local community leaders from Lancaster and Palmdale who will be chosen by Parris, TCAL and the NAACP.

“Our community needs representation and we believe that this is the first step in beginning that process,” said TCAL Board Member V. Jesse Smith.

The new committee will address several issues, including fair housing, public perception of Section 8 residents, and neighborhood safety, with safety being the primary goal.

In addressing neighborhood safety, Parris said the new committee will help “good people who end up in bad circumstances” to get their records expunged.

“You take people and put a felony rap sheet on them who are not violent people, you guarantee they can’t get a job, and so what do you expect them to do?” Parris said. “We think that it makes everyone safer if we get rid of that obstacle in their lives.”

There are too many young people in the community being charged with felonies, Parris added.

“I want some type of intervening process, and that’s what we’re going to work on with the sheriff’s department, so that people will look at it rationally…” Parris said. “We need to work more at making certain that those people are not put in a system that’s going to turn them ugly.”

“It’s something we’ve already begun moving on,” Murrell said. “The unit you see here has already begun making those things happen and the people we select on the committee will have expertise in that area.”

Both sides said the Agreement is not a settlement; rather, it is a commitment from both parties to work together, despite their differences.

“I don’t think we settled anything… we still disagree about a lot of things,” Parris said, adding that he still disagrees with how the Section 8 program is administered. Even so, the Section 8 program does provide benefits to Lancaster, Parris said.

“Whether the people in this community like it or not, we need that money from Section 8,” Parris said. “Make no mistake about it, 97 percent of the people that are getting Section 8 are benefiting this community.”

Read the entire Agreement here.

(Editor’s Note: In the spirit of sticking to the topic at hand, we removed some of the personal attacks and name calling from the comments section.)

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  78 comments for “Lancaster resolves Section 8 lawsuit, both sides to form committee

  1. Vachelle
    February 16, 2013 at 10:55 am

    WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT ITS LIKE TO COME FROM THE STREETS THAT I COME FROM.I HATE SNOBS, I HAVE TOOK CARE OF ALL MY SYBLING WHEN MOST WAS IN PAPPERS. YOU HAVE KNOW I DEA HOW THIS PROGRAM HELP TROUBLE FAMILIES. ALOT OF THESE CHILDREN BORN TO MOTHERS ON DRUGS THAT PEOPLE STEP UP AND HELP. YOU NEED TO B ASHAMED OF UR MOUTHS!!!!

  2. Discriminated against
    December 30, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    So I have seen a lot of foolishness and ignorance on this site and I’m shocked and amazed because I am assuming that you ppl are adults. I receive section 8 and guess what I am no criminal. I do not disturb my neighbors I mind my business and stay in my own lane. I do not blast my music but guess what my 50 year old neighbor does!!! From 6am until she feels like cutting it off! I had a dog that I have had since he was a puppy that I had to get rid of because someone SAID I didn’t clean up after him when I asked the landlord to prove it it became an issue of breed but guess what there is another neighbor not receiving assistance and white that HAS the same breed of dog as me that doesn’t have to get rid of their dog! I also have PROOF that my neighbor that blasts her music does NOT clean up after her dog at all! So now you ppl tell me this is wanting to afford where you live at a crime!? I have kept a job since I was 15 and I’m 25 now I had a child young but I have not used wall are anywhere close to the amount I have paid in taxes! So to see you ppl sit on here and bash folks that are receiving assistance shows how stupid a lot of you are! You have no idea what ppl have to go through on this housing assistance smh

  3. Kristie
    October 19, 2012 at 7:46 am

    You guys are all a JOKE!!!!!

    Section 8 did not JUST get to the AV 5 or 6 yrs ago.. It’s been there for years. And you know who was on it? All the little white trailer park families. So stop acting as if only Latinos and Blacks or on this program. AND NOT EVERYONE on that program are bad people. But I’m sure you’ll be happy to know that Section 8 is accepting applications in KERN COUNTY. So, maybe everyone will move there!!! Happy Happy Joy Joy right??

    But seriously, think about this:
    Lancaster and Palmdale were DRY a$$ towns since forever. So, more and more families on Section 8 starting moving in. Next, Lancaster and Palmdale started building up. (see where I’m going with this)
    More families bring more dollars whether it’s Government assisted or not. They brought more money to the town and spent the money in town and the towns starting building up!
    Now, you take the Section 8 away and families will go away right? Next, Downtown Lancaster becomes Downtown Ghost Town, and all of the nice little stores will begin to SHUT DOWN!!!!
    And here’s something else for you to register in your little pea brains..
    The sectins 8 families are NOT the ones beating the governerment and stealing money… The HOMEOWNERS are!!!! Yep, that’s right. The familes don’t get that money from Section 8 idiots.. (your not following?)
    Well here you go…
    A family has a Section 8 coupon in the amount of $1700.00 and they rent a house for $1700.00..The homeowner is happy to rent to them because his mortgage is ONLY $750.00.. Now, who’s stealing money from the government? It’s required that the families provide they income and EVERYTHING to the program but the homeowner doesn’t have to provide [removed]!!! (get the picture now)
    And the funny thing is:
    The homeowner is the one writing all these letters downgrading Section 8 and their families when THEY are the ones stealing money..
    And yes what I’m saying true. I know many, many homeowners in the AV who rent to Section 8 so I know!!!

    • JUST ME
      October 19, 2012 at 6:56 pm

      THIS IS TRUE, AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE…YET I PRAY FOR PEACE AND SAFETY IN THE AV…THOSE THAT WANT IT…STAY…THOSE THAT DON’T…PLZ LEAVE.

    • Jason
      October 23, 2012 at 2:17 am

      Thank you for sharing the truth. Section 8, welfare, food stamps, etc.: everyone knows that this system is broken and that many people take advantage of it. But it’s the part where we start pointing the finger at certain ethnic groups is wrong and childish. Once again, I’d like to see more modern perspectives and an embracing of our diversities.

    • Anna
      December 20, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      Ppl are whining over an ebt card and sec 8, yet no one addresses corporate welfare hand in the pot…billions to IBM, FANNIE MAY, BANKS, ETC in one year…the taxes paid.50 years ago fund the federal programs today…the little crap you 47 % cry about will be used in due time…

      • dorthia
        December 20, 2012 at 10:56 pm

        yeah we’re all whining about EBT and Section 8.
        We’re whining about all the lazy people living off of the taxpayers, doesn’t matter which dollar for dollar. Matters that they are lazy people looking for a handout from everyone. Handouts for food, clothes, medical, dental, childcare, housing, etc.
        f they can’t get a handout, they steal it, forge credit cards and checks or figure out some other scam to take it. I hope all the scammers get caught and do not pass go….go straight to jail!

  4. CaptainObvious
    October 18, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Gotta say, you got spanked there, Sting(k)er! You said “lets rock.” Where was it? Did I miss it? What difference does it make that a small % resulted in criminal proceedings? It’s not illegal to sublease your house to 10 other parolees, but it IS against Section 8 rules. It’s not illegal to drive a Hummer, but it IS against Section 8 rules to own a car with that value. Get the point? I think it’s quite obvious to us honest folks that if we had 100 Section 8 investigators, the percentage would have been through the roof! Screw these scammers! They signed on a dotted line for some “help” then proceeded to bend us taxpayers over! Oh by the way…did you purposely avoid reality’s question about Ledford, or was it just an oversight?

  5. ryenisha jackson
    October 15, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    thank god santa clarita doesnt use section 8 then again the ppl from the av could not afford the rent anyways I dont think welfare gives that much anyways lololololololololololololololo

    • Matt K.
      October 15, 2012 at 11:31 pm

      You’re mistaken in thinking Santa Clarita doesn’t accept Section 8. It does. The area known as “Jake’s Way” on the east side of Santa Clarita is full of Section 8. The difference between Santa Clarita and the A.V. is that Santa Clarita’s Section 8 area is confined to those apartment complexes and townhomes off of Jake’s Way and not spread throughout the entire valley.

      They’re having problems with Section renters all over Southern California. I have friends that live in Woodland Hills off of Shoup Avenue (which used to be a really nice area) and they are having issues with Section 8 renters.

      The City of Santa Clarita took out lots of public money to help rejeuvenate Old Downtown Newhall on Lyons and Main. That money came with “strings” attached. One such condition was that the City would increase the number of affordable/low-income housing available. Rather than build low-income, the City decided it would be better to simply annex the Jake’s Way area rather than build anything new.

    • Anna
      December 20, 2012 at 9:16 pm

      You can almost tell the public aided ones in Palmdale…they are always in funky pajamas pants and stand nasty du-rags………wtf wants to see that sh&@%*

  6. April
    October 15, 2012 at 11:33 am

    I am soooo tired of all these section 8 ppl messing up our city. I’m sorry but if you can’t afford housing, then go to school and get an education to get a better job, go back to mom and dad, and don’t have any kids that you can’t support. It’s a shame that too many kids are growing up with parents on section 8 and welfare and they usually turn out to be the same users when they’re older… I don’t think it’s fair that I have worked my butt off to have the beautiful house I do today, and yet I’m pretty sure my neighbors who blast their music all day and never seem to leave are probably on section 8 and do nothing but sit on their ass and smoke their weed and hardly pay anything…. Section 8 is a big joke!!

  7. Turd Ferguson
    October 13, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Say wutt?Talk about a hypocrite.Talk about a phony.On the surface this is good.And the right thing.That is only on the surface.Do not forget who made fun of the county of Los Angeles for settling.Do not forget who made fun of the city of Palmdale for settling.This is the same exact thing.But now it is not so stupid.Now it is not so stupid.Now it is the right thing.$400,000.00 later it is the right thing.If Mayor Paris didthe right thing when the county of Los Angeles and the city of Palmdale did,we would have $400,000.00 more dollars in our city.What a waste.What a waste.We keep paying for a big mouth and poor leadership.Just like LEAPS.$90,000.00 a month for what?Nothing.$90,000.00 a month could buy us more sherriffs.Which would help fight crime.All we have for $90,000.00 a month is an old airplane that flies while our crime rate goes up.What a joke.What a joke.Stop wasting our money.Stop wasting our money.We spend like drunk sailors.Our city bonds are junk bonds.Stop wasting our money.Stop wasting our money.

  8. Rene
    October 13, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Melanie,

    You must live on my street! Love your post and I’m a supporter of our Mayor!

    The city gets in trouble and gets accused of being racist, when the reality of it is …..we don’t hold those that stand in line at the social services and make them apply for support do we?

    Section 8 is there to help individuals, and it is being taken advantage of. Our neighborhood has become on on slot of this and it has gotten out of control!! I see families that move in and have seven kids and wow all of a sudden it’s thirteen kids.

    It has nothing to do with racism, but has everything to do with being accountable for your actions and for some reason the ones that I see cannot be 1. Civil and/or 2. Clean.

    • Stinger
      October 13, 2012 at 9:16 pm

      Rene says: “…I’m a supporter of our Mayor!” and, “Section 8 is there to help individuals, and it is being taken advantage of.”

      But Rene, Parris says, “Make no mistake about it, 97 percent of the people that are getting Section 8 are benefiting this community.”

      Do you now refute the mayor that you claim to support?

  9. ryenisha jackson
    October 11, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    whoo hooo lets hear for the section 8 so the welfare ppl can live in nice houses while selling drugs and having all there family and friends live there, while there kids run amok and they trash the house after they move out yeahhhhhhhhhhh

  10. J. Ripper
    October 11, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    The first time I ever heard of Section 8, I was in college renting an apartment (which I will admit up front was with the financial support of my parents) in a nice, relatively small college town. The woman who lived downstairs from me constantly complained about me walking across my floor while studying late at night. Yep, footsteps. Not loud music, yelling, any of that. I lived alone and was very studious, but she was entitled to peace and quiet from my footsteps back and forth to the kitchen and bathroom.

    So I got to chatting with her, and turns out, she attended another college in a city about 20-25 miles away. She didn’t own a car, so she spent an hour each way riding the bus to her classes. She didn’t seem to have much of a job to speak of, if at all. I asked what seemed like the obvious question to me: why waste so much time on the bus living so far away from her college? Because she was getting Section 8, of course, and she paid the same money (which I understood to be a certain percentage of her income, not 1/3 of whatever the rent was) for a 1-bd place wherever she wanted to live. The small college town I lived in was a much nicer community than the area surrounding her college, so she could live in the nice area for the same rent as the crappy area around her college!

    That didn’t make much sense to me at the time, and that was the first time in my life I had ever heard of Section 8.

  11. J. Ripper
    October 11, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Lancaster should start going to welfare trade shows (they apparently exist in some form) and advertising the community as open and accepting of all welfare and Section 8 recipients. I know other High Desert cities which shall remain nameless employ this tactic, because they don’t have the industry to provide jobs, but realize that government money is free money to the local economy and those residents won’t require a job! So the city grows by one welfare family, a little money is better than no money at all (in those city leaders’ minds), and the new residents won’t require a job in order to live there. And one more vacant rental gets filled.

    • Melanie
      October 11, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      Lancaster doesn’t need to go to welfare trade shows! There is plenty of industry here and nearby in LA. No need to go that route. Its not like Victorville where the closest large city is San Bernardino.

      There is aerospace here and companies are expanding out here like Morton Inc. from places like Santa Clarita. The AV doesn’t need to copy Victorville!

      • J. Ripper
        October 12, 2012 at 5:49 am

        My comment was sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek, since that seems like the next logical progression to Rex caving and the nature of the statements that the city has issued. Apparently not everyone visiting this site could detect that in my comment.

      • April
        October 15, 2012 at 11:28 am

        We’re expanding with great companies like Morton?? I don’t think it’s great to have another low paying company come out here for their own benefit

        • J. Ripper
          October 15, 2012 at 1:18 pm

          Agreed. Morton isn’t even remotely high-tech. They make nuts and bolts, literally. A minimum-wage person can probably do most of their jobs, and most of their jobs probably are close to minimum wage.

          I’ve wished for years that the AV city leaders would try to woo white-collar, office-job companies to the AV. I used to say banking (more like Countrywide-now-BofA), but after the financial crash, I no longer say that. I’d say more along the lines of the Princess/Cunard cruise offices in Valencia. But those companies want a well-educated workforce… the challenge is showing that the AV has enough educated residents willing to take those jobs.

          We actually have a really decent selection of retail (restaurants and shopping) in the AV. Sure, there are some restaurants we don’t have that Bakersfield and Valencia have (E-Bar, Friday’s), but it’s fairly respectable. Although I’m not the demographic for most of the teenage and young-adult clothing retailers that the AV Mall has gotten over the last 4-5 years, I actually think they’ve done a really good job at filling the mall with decent retailers. We lost American Eagle, but we got (back) Express, we have Hollister, Aero and G by Guess. No Gap, no A&F, but it’s really not too shabby if they can actually make a go of it.

          So city leaders, back off on the retail growth. We want to see jobs, like real, meaningful, higher-paying jobs, not just more retail/services and low-tech manufacturing. This goes for Lancaster AND Palmdale.

  12. Matt K.
    October 11, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Living a lifestyle on Section 8 isn’t as much of a picnic as some might think. You constantly have to worry if your landlord is going to get foreclosed on or sell the house you’re living in just to get out from under it, or, the landlord could simply make the decision to discontinue renting under the program altogether. It’s a very shiftless sort of existence and you cannot really get used to living anywhere.

    I would rather own my own house and have the pride of home ownership than be subject to that sort of tumultuous situation.

  13. Q. Jones
    October 11, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Yes, rental prices are different in different cities and states. Wherever you move, you still pay the same 1/3 share of rent and you still get the same number of bedrooms that are on your voucher but you may get a 2-bdrm. apartment instead of a house. I have heard that Las Vegas is so bad economically that landlords are renting fancy houses to Section 8 tenants because they cant get regular tenants.

    If Las Vegas is not “absorbing” vouchers, your current Housing Authority would be billed for your rent in the new jurisdiction. Your case worker has to arrange the whole transfer.

    • Q. Jones
      October 11, 2012 at 10:46 am

      you can “port in” to another city if you want to. the Voucher is portable and you can pretty much take it anywhere in the 50 states. My goal is to get over to Metro ATL eventually.

  14. Melanie
    October 11, 2012 at 9:05 am

    I wonder if the NAACP and TCAL will hold workshops for the Section 8 people to teach them how to be decent neighbors?

    1.) Maybe instruct them not to let their kids run wild in the streets

    2.) not to let their kids destroy their neighbors property or throw rocks and sticks at the neighbors cars.

    3.) Tell their kids not to constantly look over their neighbors fence, make comments to neighbors and throw trash and other items in the neighbors backyards and swimming pool.

    4.) Show them what a sprinkler system is supposed to do.

    5.) Show them a lawn mower and how it works!

    6.) Not to blast music late at night and early in the morning when people are trying to sleep.

    7.) keep your dogs on a leash and do not let them roam wild in the neighborhood.

    8.) Do not stand in the street and block the flow of traffic when people are trying to get by. (If you want to play basketball, go to the park!)

    9.) Do not scream and cuss and yell at people and disturb the peace of the neighborhood. Try to maintain some level of civility!

    • Stinger
      October 11, 2012 at 10:52 am

      Believe it or not, Melanie, I agree with those sentiments. It is a two way street on this subject: Both sides need to look at themselves and work on how they are acting towards each other. Those that are on Section 8 need to make sure that they act as good neighbors and not cause unnecessary problems for their neighborhood. Those that are not on Section 8 need to do the same…

    • J. Ripper
      October 11, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      Sprinklers and lawn maintenance are the responsibilities of the property owner (landlord). The cities (in theory) can enforce the zoning ordinances against the property owners if neighbors complain. Zoning ordinances are only enforced on a complaint basis in every city I’m aware of.

  15. H8 Section8
    October 11, 2012 at 6:57 am

    What happened to all the Parris haters? NOW that he’s gonna work with the Hug-A-Thugs you like him? He’s got something up his sleeve….he’s still a snake (lawyer). Since when do snakes (lawyers) tell the truth?! Just wait and see!

    • Stinger
      October 11, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      Once again, CaptainOblivious, you show that you don’t actually read what anybody writes in their posts and only fixate on what you want.

      So, to give you something to fixate on: Cha-ching, Parrisite.

      There, do you feel better now?

      • realitycheck
        October 13, 2012 at 4:08 pm

        What’s wrong Stinker? Didn’t like someone calling you out on YOUR past name calling? Hypocrite!

        • Stinger
          October 13, 2012 at 4:13 pm

          Not at all, needsarealitycheck. I was actually being lighthearted on the subject, not serious. The fact that you couldn’t catch it is unsurprising since you are cut from the same self-enforced ignorant cloth as Oblivious is.

          Besides, being called a hypocrite by someone like yourself is, by definition, laughable.

          • [Removed] Paleez
            October 13, 2012 at 7:47 pm

            “Stinker”, in all seriousness, you DID spend the past several years since Rex has been mayor calling folks “silly names”. Whenever anyone tried to say Rex was on the right track,even when they didn’t live in Lancaster (my case) there were many, many times when all you could find to respond with was “parriste” and cha-ching.” That, by definition, was lame. You have been called out! Do tell, will you now jump on the Rex bandwagon?

          • Stinger
            October 13, 2012 at 8:07 pm

            I don’t know what you’re smoking, KGP, but it must be some strong stuff for you to think that I would be dumb enough to fall for Parris’ trickery in this apparent change of heart. I also never said that I didn’t engage in some labelling for you blind followers of Sata-I mean, Parris. To be a hypocrite, one would have to pretend that one has not engaged in such. I merely don’t take such as seriously as you poor kool aid drinkers.

            Now then, if we’re done talking about each other, what are your thoughts on Parris sudden 180 about Section 8. Are you willing to agree with Parris’ statement that 97% of the people on Section 8 are actually abiding by the rules, or is Parris now a traitor for you?

          • realitycheck
            October 14, 2012 at 2:21 pm

            OK Stinger, I’m counting on your support here: I don’t live in Lancaster, but you’ve accused me of being a Parris supporter, and a Parrisite in the past. Truth be told, I support some of his moves and chest puffing, but not others. In this case, he has sold out! Period! Are we sure he didn’t mean benefiting FROM this community?? Where did Rex get that stat? It certainly wasn’t from all the Section 8 investigations where most of the folks got their voucher ripped from them for being scandalous. Wasn’t it reported recently that something like 97% of all those cases resulted in convictions in court? Maybe that’s where Rex got the 97% from? The only thing 97% of Section 8 contribute to this community is a higher crime rate and increased calls for service to our local police when the hard working, tax-paying neighbors having to call to report the ghetto drama of their Section 8 neighbors! Rex, you let the honest folks of Lancaster down on this one. To all of you Section 8 folks that actually ARE honest, and just trying to get your feet back under you until you find a job, I congratulate and don’t begrudge you for TEMPORARILY using this program. To the rest of you crooks, LEAVE! Unless Rex is subscribing to the “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer” theory, he sold out on this one.

          • [Removed] Paleez
            October 14, 2012 at 3:01 pm

            Well said realitychk! Stinker…there you have it….I completely agree with reality

          • Stinger
            October 14, 2012 at 3:46 pm

            needsarealitycheck says: “The only thing 97% of Section 8 contribute to this community is a higher crime rate…”

            Are you seriously claiming the 97% of all users of Section 8 are criminals?

            Far be it from me to say anything that tends to support Parris, but the figure that he quoted regarding 97% of people on Section 8 being within code on their usage of the program is according to the study done in Lancaster that has been quashed by the sitting council while they were trying to vilify people on that program… A vilification that people like you and KGP have bought hook, line, and sinker to the point that even when Parris himself finally admits the truth, you just won’t believe it!

            Get this straight: Section 8 housing does NOT bring in any more crime than other RENTAL housing. Period. End of story. Now, RENTAL housing, in general, has a much higher crime rate than that of OWNER OCCUPIED housing. So, if you want to complain about the increased crime rate, consider the increase in rental housing over the last decade in the AV and you’ll have your culprit.

          • realitycheck
            October 17, 2012 at 7:56 pm

            Hello Stinker. Obviously, 97% of Sec. 8 folks being scandalous is an exaggeration, and I was trying to make a point using it…but by how much? Lets look at a few stats here: http://www.avhidesert.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=512
            Quote from Gary Brody,(I know, he worked in Palmdale, but I’m sure Lancaster had comparable stats) whom, by all accounts had an impeccable record as a deputy sheriff, then a Section 8 investigator: “…During the last year, Housing Authority Investigator Gary Brody has investigated 140 Section 8 cases, most originating from complaints by citizens, according to figures from the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station.
            Of the 140, he recommended 117 for termination; of the 117, the circumstances in 18 were concluded to warrant criminal prosecution, the statement said. In Lancaster, about a dozen former Section 8 recipients have been charged with fraud during the last year, housing officials said. About half have been convicted, and the other cases are still pending, officials said. None of the Palmdale cases have ended in acquittal, Bistline said. All 12 cases that have been settled so far have been concluded with pleas of no contest or guilty, he said.”

            So let’s remember that Brody responded to complaints mostly phoned generated by the public, so the accusation that deputies were suggesting who they go and “raid” is bullcrap. So out of the 140 cases Brody investigated, 117 were recommended for termination. 117! That’s 84%! Of those, 18 warranted criminal prosecution! Sgt. Bistline went on to say that none, that’s right NONE, ended in acquittal. And these are just the cases Brody had time to investigate. I’m going out on a limb here and suggesting that, had Brody had time to investigate EVERY complaint, that the percentage wasn’t going to magically go down. It would have probably risen. Yes, I know, there are many families on the program that are complying. As for your theory that rentals in general are responsible for more crime, I would agree slightly, but there is no disputing that those stats above show the Section 8 program recipients in particular appear to have more of a propensity for scandal and fraud than regular renters do. Not all, obviously, but in general. I think folks who are paying ALL their rent from their own pockets behave better, and treat the residence better, in general, than folks who get most of their rent paid by the taxpayer. Now, is it coincidental that the extra amount of scandal proven above, was mostly by blacks, oh, who just happen to be the race that has more % of vouchers in this Valley? On a side note, Palmdale was also included in this lawsuit, and Ledford seemed to agree with Lancaster’s stance,although he wasn’t as vocal. Why the lack of hatred for Ledford, Stinker? What say you?

          • Stinger
            October 18, 2012 at 1:24 am

            Nice try, needsarealitycheck. Okay then, you wanna play stats with me? Let’s rock:

            Your quoted statistics are worthless for the argument in that they only reflect stats of those Section 8 households that were actually investigated. Therefore, your inference that 84% of Section 8 households are in violation is, to put it politely, invalid and based upon faulty reasoning. I would also point out that, per your quoted article, only 18 of the 140 investigated were egregious enough to warrant criminal prosecution – or 12.8% of those investigated. The remaining 99 were therefore not deemed to be criminal, merely in violation of their contract.

            Now then, let us look at the whole picture, shall we? The number of Section 8 ‘Housing Choice Voucher’ households in the City of Lancaster alone is 2,297 (per the City’s own Consolidated Plan of April, 2010). Presuming an equivalent number of “mostly citizen generated” complaints called in, investigated, and the investigator found reason to submit a negative recommendation, then the actual percentage of abuse of ANY type would be about 5%. You know what? Let’s double the raw number from 117 to 234 and we still have a meager 10% abuse rate of any type. Specifically criminal-level abuse at the larger given number of 18 cases per 2,297 is still a ridiculously low 7/10ths of 1%!

          • realitycheck
            October 18, 2012 at 7:34 pm

            LOL @Stinker! Congrats on taking the route I predicted you would take! You know, the “there’s 2297 Section 8 vouchers and only 117 were terminated, see…see…that means only one millionth of one percent was violating their Section 8 agreement!” So predictable Stinker. Now put those blinders back on, everything is fine with Section 8. It’s just those meanies exaggerating again!!

    • Turd Ferguson
      October 13, 2012 at 10:25 am

      Why do you compare Mayor Paris to a snake.That is not right.That is not good.Snakes serves a purpose.Snakes keep the rodent population under control.Snakes help put air in the soil.Snakes make good pets.Snakes do not chase ambulances.Snakes do not think bird sounds lower crime.Snakes do not spend $90,000.00 a month so their friends can make money on a stupid plane that does not lower crime.Snakes do not get sued for having a big mouth.Snakes do not tell lies about others.Snakes do not declare war on section 8,make fun of others who work to settle,and then backtrack faster than Usain Bolt.Snakes are useful.Snakes serve a purpose.Snakes have decency.

  16. Stinger
    October 11, 2012 at 2:47 am

    I’m curious… As a personal injury attorney, can Parris now sue himself for whiplash from the sudden 180 that he just tried to pull off?…

  17. Gladys
    October 10, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Mayor looks like he swallowed a fly!

    • Scott Pelka
      October 11, 2012 at 12:18 am

      No you have it wrong… it looks like he is sitting on something. And I think he is enjoying it too much.

      • QHR
        October 11, 2012 at 6:16 am

        He is choking after he realized what he just signed.

    • tell it like it is
      October 11, 2012 at 9:03 am

      He looks like hes thinking “they made me sign it”….

  18. rawr
    October 10, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    i live right by a section 8 house hold in east lancaster….nothing but black dudes drinking beer and smoking bud all day….and not to mention the music bumpind at 3am…..all in the section 8 area everywhere else is quiet….not about race i am a black man but i have RESPECT and im an american not an african american

    • Letlow
      October 10, 2012 at 9:38 pm

      Sorry to hear about your plight, but can you agree that the one house you speak of does not represent the ENTIRE Section 8 community?

      You say you are a black man, so how does it make you feel when people on this site say that all black men are thugs and criminals?

      That’s in essence what you are doing if you categorize all Section 8 residents based on your one Section 8 neighbor.

      Ya feel me?

      • Hector
        October 10, 2012 at 9:43 pm

        No one here has ever said that all black men are thugs and criminals, and I challenge you to show me one person who has written those words.

        • Letlow
          October 10, 2012 at 10:01 pm

          Are you kidding me? I’ve read variations of that on this site so many times I lost count. I can’t even begin to dig up all those comments right now. But here is one gem that really made my blood boil the other day. This one comes courtesy of “QHR” under the Carls Jr. robbery story:

          “Section 8 = criminals aka black thugs! Rex keep the fight on. Let them thugs go to Kern County!!!”

          What do you make of that comment, huh? While it doesn’t explicitly say that all black men are thugs, it does say that all Section 8 people are criminals, and criminals are synonymous with black thugs.

          When I have some free time this weekend, I will go back through the comments just to prove my point. But believe me, I have read disparaging comments about black males frequently on this site.

          All I do on this site is defend hardworking decent black citizens like myself from being lumped in with stereotypes.

          And I catch hell for it!!! Why am I catching hell for saying that many black folks are decent hardworking upstanding citizens. That’s the bigger question here…

          • Hector
            October 11, 2012 at 8:35 am

            As I said, no one has said those words. Even though somebody made a blanket statement about robbers being Section 8 and black, that’s far from saying ALL black men are thugs and criminals.

          • Letlow
            October 11, 2012 at 9:11 am

            @ Hector

            This little gem was written by someone named “true” under the article “Armed men rob The Dam Grill’

            “This is why nobody trusts black people and everybody thinks they are either criminals, suspects or enablers…”

            Plenty more hateful comments where that came from. Look, I’m not going to waste my time on this anymore. If you want to believe that no one on this site has generalized all blacks in a negative manner, you’re certainly welcomed to. But I think many people, including me, think otherwise.

            On another note, the most important thing I get from your comment is that YOU don’t believe all black men are thugs and criminals. Is that what you’re saying Hector?

            In your own way, are you saying that there are upstanding, hardworking, smart, affluent black men who do not fit the stereotype? Come on Hector, if that’s what you mean, I would love to hear it!

          • Hector
            October 11, 2012 at 9:31 am

            Ok, that statement is pretty close. I absolutely agree that there are hard working, upstanding, quality black people…and some of my good friends fit that description. There are also some horrible, worthless, evil white and Hispanic people out there too (not my friends). What I really dislike is when people make an issue about their own race or country of origin and declare that they are “proud” of it. I’m not saying that you did this, and I realize that you were just making a point about race. I don’t really care where my ancestors came from (other than normal curiosity) because I had nothing to do with that. I’m not proud of any place they may have come from, because I know that America is better than those places. That’s like that “rawr” guy’s statement that he’s not an African American, but he’s American. Know what I mean?

          • Letlow
            October 11, 2012 at 9:43 am

            @ Hector
            I’ve pegged you wrong Hector ole buddy! I will not lump you in with the category of some of the commenters here. While I don’t often make an issue of my race, I do declare being “black and proud” from time to time.

            This is more of a defense mechanism than anything else. In the face of all the negativity, I sometimes feel it necessary to let people know, you can say whatever you want about black people, but your words will never make me ashamed of who I am or where I come from.

            But yeah, I see what you mean.

          • Hector
            October 11, 2012 at 9:49 am

            OK man. I hear what you’re saying, and I can see that we are both seeing eye to eye….one proud American to another!

    • Hector
      October 10, 2012 at 9:40 pm

      Rawr you are a breath of fresh air! Thank God there is at least one sane person left in the A.V.

  19. Quigley
    October 10, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Looks like Rexipoo swallowed his huevos! Good luck Lancaster!

  20. HM
    October 10, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    shocking turn of events..mr. mayor why are you sucking up to the likes of the naacp? is the naacp going to tell their people to start acting like decent human beings..pull their pants up over their ass and get jobs..or keep encouraging them to play the race card? and, Mr. Mayor why do we need the money from section 8 housing? fix the houses up and sell them to hard working TAX paying citizens.. if we got rid of section 8, i am certain the crime rate in this town would totally decrease..

    • tell it like it is
      October 11, 2012 at 9:24 am

      and do would the revenues this city needs to keep building, idiot.. it’s not everyone that is on section 8 it certain ones. What about the ones who have families that are decent people, that have jobs and still can’t make ends meet, what about those families? Who are not committing crimes and don’t have a criminal record?
      I suggest what should be done is the guide lines that people on section 8 qualify under should be changed. If they are receiving section 8 their are certain things they should be required to do.
      1. For example, One could not stay on section 8 without getting a job or actively going to school to pursue a career. That way the ones that need can find a purpose in their life.
      2. Your Children would have to be in school full time.
      Believe me I have family members that are just like the ones that you speak of, and it kills me. They stay home all day do nothing and get to pay $25.00 in rent, have food stamps for food, and medical insurance all because they don’t have a job and are on welfare. They have no desire to get a job or go to school because their living situation will not change either way. While I work, pay regular rent, barely have money for food, and cant afford medical insurance.
      Bottom line it’s the system that needs to change, and brother EVERYONE on section 8 is not a Degenerate.

      • Quigley
        October 13, 2012 at 8:29 pm

        @Tell It….Thank you for stating exactly what is happening with those who “score” on what we work our ass off for. The system will continue to enable creating a world of undesirable pos’s who will never do anything but rip off the system.

      • Stinger
        October 13, 2012 at 9:31 pm

        @Tell it… Fair enough of a point of view. I agree that the current safety net system needs to be revamped with a new set of goals that encourage a road to real self-sufficiency. The current system in place atually encourages lying and laziness in its very core. If a person is down on their luck and really does want to work, the current system will actually hinder him/her from getting any work beyond that of buger-flipper level or retrained for any truly meaningful work that will get him/her off of assistance for good. It actually punishes the recipient when they DO go out and try to get decent-paying work!

  21. Stinger
    October 10, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    ROFLMFAO!!!! XD

  22. QHR
    October 10, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Is the mayor showing some weakness against the fight against section 8? It has already run down the city, things will only get worse now. The last thing we need to do is ease it up. How is Lancaster’s goal of being the safest city in the country going to be achieved.

    • Letlow
      October 10, 2012 at 7:34 pm

      What fight against Section 8??? The fight is against crime! You do know that crime and Section 8 are not one in the same don’t you?

      The mayor is obviously committed to diversifying this city. And he said that Section 8 benefits this city, “Whether the people in this community like it or not.”

      His words not mine. So if you don’t like the diversity of the city or the leadership of your great mayor, then I suggest you get on the next bus out of here!!!

      All you people who thought the mayor was standing tall with you in your hatred of Section 8 had a rude awakening today. You can dislike my comments all you want.

      But it won’t change the FACTS!! The Mayor is on the side of compassion and decency, and he does not believe that all Section 8 people are criminals. Lancaster is moving in the right direction, whether you like it or not.

      I’m having such a good time now!!

      • Hector
        October 10, 2012 at 7:46 pm

        And why is diversity good?

        • Letlow
          October 10, 2012 at 8:11 pm

          Ask your Mayor R. Rex Parris. He is the one committed to diversifying the community. So you if don’t like diversity, I suggestion you leave now! LOL!!

          • Hector
            October 10, 2012 at 8:20 pm

            I don’t live in the city limits, so I don’t give a [revomed]. I’m just saying that diversity is a stupid concept. Shouldn’t we be AMERICANS? If you came from somewhere else to live here, you have to believe that this is a better country than yours….so just be an AMERICAN!!!!!

        • William
          October 10, 2012 at 8:14 pm

          They let you in, didn’t they.

      • Tim
        October 10, 2012 at 9:46 pm

        “diversifying”?? WTF are you talking about? this community was ALREADY diverse before Section 8 got here! AND it was a lot safer!

        Thanks for throwing in the towel Rex!

  23. Doc Rivers
    October 10, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Does the injury attorney/
    Mayor think we all just fell off of the turnup truck, settlement is a far cry from going all the way to prove his point.

  24. Letlow
    October 10, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    I am really respecting Mayor Parris right now. I especially love this quote from the mayor: “Make no mistake about it, 97 percent of the people that are getting Section 8 are benefiting this community…”

    Kudos to you Mayor Parris!!!!

    • LOL
      October 10, 2012 at 9:49 pm

      benefitting the community in what way? driving up the crime rate? lowering standards in the schools?

  25. think before you speak
    October 12, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Let me tell you something it is so easy for people to throw race out there. But really we are all the same race that’s the HUMAN RACE. We bleed the same blood, We breath the same air, the only thing that make us different is our skin color, which makes no sense. Their are good and bad people of all colors so stop speaking of another race as if your better, the content of your character is we all should be judged upon. Don’t hate Black people because you secretly want to be one.

  26. Melanie
    October 12, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Your comment is childish and very naive and worse, you had to end it with a little racist jab to reveal how childish you really are.

    actually if you are honest about it, every single living thing evolved from a couple of cells millions of years ago, so actually, every SPECIES and living organism is related! It might be a hard concept for you to understand and you might have been taught otherwise, but its true.

    Yet I’m not dumb or naive enough to go out and hang around a rattlesnake den and get myself bit because I share some ancient DNA with rattlesnakes. Poisonous snakes have red blood cells too, btw…just like humans! Since humans and snakes bleed the same blood, now why don’t you go out in the desert and find a nice 5 foot rattler to cozy up next to!

    Yes, judge people by the “content of the character” is exactly what I’m doing…I have lived around Section 8 people for the past 4 years now and I have a very good grasp of the “content of their character” and sadly I hear the same complaints from others on the “content of their character”.

    I don’t expect this comment to be very popular and I could give a crap less!

  27. Tina Marie
    October 12, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Grizzly bears and mule dear “bleed the same blood” too!

  28. J.D.
    October 12, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    “every single living thing evolved from a couple of cells millions of years ago, so actually, every SPECIES and living organism is related”. Not true, for about 85% of the country…who are religious.

  29. Melanie
    October 12, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Religion isnt the whole story here, J.D. I was raised Catholic and still believe in a higher power or a “source” in the universe. I never had my Sunday School teacher tell me that evolution was “evil” like some of these naive Baptist idiots who post on here. In Catholic school, I was taught evolution in sophomore biology class too.

  30. J.D.
    October 12, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Melanie, I agree that evolution exists, and it’s been proven to be part of nature. I guess what I’m saying is what one of my teachers once told me when I was a kid; “Evolution exists, but man evolving from apes is a different story”. I think that you either believe in God or you don’t, and that’s a personal choice of course. But I think that if somebody believes in God, they have to believe that man was created and didn’t evolve from algae. Anyway, I know that your original point wasn’t about religion…and I agree with your Section 8 arguement!!

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