Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

L.A. housing chief hailed by some, assailed by others

Rudolf Montiel holds one of the biggest government jobs in Los Angeles, running a $1-billion-a-year agency responsible for sheltering more than 60,000 of the city's neediest families.

He is also one of the city's best-paid officials, with a compensation package of about $450,000 a year, including 10 weeks of vacation.

But despite his power and perks, in his six-year tenure Montiel has mostly flown beneath the radar — until a dust-up this month over a move to evict nine public housing tenants who picketed with others outside his Rancho Cucamonga home.

The eviction effort infuriated City Council members, who took to their microphones and rained down nasty sound bites on Montiel — calling him "Big Brother," "childlike" and manipulative — while angry tenants upset over city policies roared their approval.

"Where is Rudy?" Councilman Bill Rosendahl demanded. "Where is he?… I would like Rudy to come before us and answer every question about this."

Montiel, 49, did not appear, later saying he did not feel the council chamber was safe, even though it is guarded by metal detectors and armed police officers. He said he had felt threatened by some of the tenants.

Read the full story here.

-- Jessica Garrison and David Zahniser

Comments () | Archives (5)

Where is the Mayor?

Elected Officials and the Housing Authority dropped the ball years ago
by allowing people to stay in the development for 20 to 40 years.
Public housing was to help people get back on their feet, Goverment is
to blame for people thinking that they are the ones to run the
The system is using funds needed for other things to clean up the public
housing because they need that land for redevelopment now.

The Officials are not telling the residents the true nut now they think
nothing can happen because they are being told that it will be one for

Officials and the Justice Department have plans to eliminate all gang
member families, drug-dealing, bad payment records and any that
should have taken care of years ago. These problems Montiel is
having is just the beginning, wait until they start in forcing these
rules in the four housing developments in Watts

Right after Rudy came to HACLA he installed bullet proof glass in his office. He hired a security company to protect his house for SIX WEEKS after the incident and HACLA paid for it. He even had the guard hand out halloween candy for him! Look at his security chief Scott Butler! HACLA bought him a brand new $50,000 sports car to drive around - Its all there - look it up!

OK, I'm confused. What's their beef? Other than Montiel evicting tenants, apparently he appears to be doing a better than average decent job. I get it, he's not the warm and fuzzy type and he's not kissing up the local politicians who like their behinds kissed, but other than the political mumbo jumbo what's the problem? It appears he's not playing the local governments game, he's playing his cards his way and he's being successful. Is there more to this story that I'm not getting? Is there something being left out of this story, cause it sounds as if this guy is trying to reform a broken system. I can't blame him for having security and bulletproof glass, if he's evicting disgruntle tenants.

dee, public housing was never only temporary housing. It wasn't when it was predominantly white, and it isn't now. When society addresses the obstacles to finding and paying for housing that is not public housing, people will be able to move on. I live a block away from mixed housing in San Francisco. It is 60% market rate, which is below market rate, because it is ridiculously high here, and 40% subsidized. Those are people who pay a percentage of their pay, Social Security, or pension toward their rent. These buildings, town houses and apartments, were built after a housing project was torn down. That has been done all over the City. There is more work to do.

Under the Clinton administration, there was a major change in how public housing was funded, built, and run. The old public housing pattern was totally changed, along with the rules by which they were run. Criminals were kept out, and the police have more access to the streets, so law abiding residents can be kept safe from law breakers. Here, we have found that the crime rate dropped dramatically.

The Federal Housing Administration has to be empowered to finance new construction, and apply new rules to that housing, so that people who are struggling to live a better life, and move out of public housing, can do it. We found that many people were able to do it, when they were given financial aid to make the move, with their first and last month's rent paid, as people chose whether to stay in San Francisco, or move away, when the housing project was torn down.

The Housing Authorities throughout the country, can be given rules by which they must run public housing. It is up to local government to watch over them, and make sure they are doing what they are supposed to do. There is a lot of graft in Housing Authorities.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: