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Property org: LA acquired 1,000 units last year

Bill Hooey, who runs a landlord's group here in LA called the Fair Housing Coalition, recently reported this at the group's site:

Last year in 2010, the LAHD acquired 1,000 rental units that they are now using for low-income tenants.
Hooey was told that by a City housing administrator--with whom he was only extended two minutes of time. At the site, he asks some follow-up questions--you can imagine their tenor.

But the disturbing element of the report is that in the middle of proclaiming bankruptcy, LA Housing Department was busy acquiring low-income housing units, presumably on the cheap.

Hooey, who admittedly also considers "several members of City Council" to be "closet socialists," thinks the REAP program is "corrupt." REAP is the "Rent Escrow Account Program" in which income from rental units is put in escrow after a Notice to Comply has been served a landlord. Many landlords consider REAP an unfair takings whose real purpose is to generate civic revenue: there is a $50 per month charge for each unit in REAP and many inspection fees.

Community activist Zuma Dogg made REAP a cornerstone of his mayoral campaign, and while his candidacy never threatened the civic power structure, REAP was the issue that seemed to make Council most nervous.

At least acquiring units didn't create more units, adding to LA's already horrendously lopsided renter/homeowner ratio, the true source of all misery for people without property. But it does give the City more units with which to play, and to dole out for redevelopment projects.