On March 21st, 2012, LA Human Right to Housing Collective members, representing 8 of the City’s 14 public housing developments, filed suit against the Housing Authority for refusing to reimburse them for years of unjust trash fees. Under federal regulations, the residents should receive a rent credit for the fees. The suit is currently in mediation.
That is why on November 29th, the Collective’s Public Housing Committee’s members arrived at a packed Housing Authority Board of Commissioners Meeting to make clear that although the legal process is moving at a snail’s pace, the residents are not sitting idly by but are instead taking advantage of the extra time to engage their neighbors in the campaign to end the trash fees. By going door to door in their neighborhoods, Collective members obtained over 1,000 postcards and an equal amount of momentum for the campaign within several short weeks. “We respect your rules, and our neighbors, we expect you to respect our rights” testified Francisco Estrada before the commission as his Pueblo del Rio neighbor Lucia Sanchez held the stack of postcards high and proud. “The real power in our presence is with the 1,000 more residents who stand with us today,” said Lucia.
While we await the outcome of the lawsuit, the Collective will continue to engage more residents and allies. Next week we will be at City Hall, presenting the Mayor and the Council with the postcards and asking for their support in bringing an end to the trash fees.