Monday, November 1, 2010

" The '7 Deadly Sins' of REAP" - Article by Carol Knapp on NEW Website FOCUSING on Los Angeles Housing Department

NEW WEBSITE FOCUSING ON LA HOUSING DEPARTMENT WITH SPECIAL EMPHASIS ON REAP (RENT ESCROW ACCOUNT PROGRAM)... (And YES, it's no accident the site has been created...and the person who created it is no stranger to ZD's blogging & TV 35 appearances. AND ALL OF THIS SINCE THE RETURN OF ZUMA DOGG.)

By Carol Knapp
On March 16, 2009 I experienced the sheer joy of filing lawsuit against the Los Angeles Housing Department’s REAP program (Landfield, et al v. L.A., Case No.: CV09-01798 – U.S. District Court – Central Division ).

Some background:

My very first introduction to the unparalleled corruption in the Los Angeles Housing Department was in 1987 when the Rent Escrow Account Program ordinance (“REAP”) was enacted. Since I had purchased my first piece of rental property only a couple of years earlier, I was blissfully ignorant of…and unprepared for…the outright abuse of property owners and destruction of property rights I was to witness for the next 23 years.

For those unfamiliar with REAP, it a program dreamed up by two ex-L.A. City Councilpersons… Zev Yaroslavsky and Gloria Molina…to allegedly “clean up the slums.” However, the only “cleaning up” REAP does is the financial kind on behalf of politicians and crony developers.

REAP was billed as a humanitarian effort to eliminate health and safety risks in “slum” apartment buildings. However, this alleged purpose has turned to be a thinly disguised excuse to swindle property from the “little guy or gal” to hand over to city-connected developers, as is spelled out in Landfield v. L.A.

Briefly, REAP and its partner in crime, RRP (Rent Reduction Program), allows the city to reduce the rent by as much as 50% if the tenant agrees to pay the (reduced) rent to the city instead of to the owner. And, as if this in itself isn’t bad enough, the LAHD bureaucrats don’t even abide by the federal and state Constitutions, laws or even their own policies and procedures in administering REAP.