On October 2, 2017, I received notice a Suburban Times reader, Ms. Elizabeth James, added two comments to my article titled Westside Story – Pencil Vs. Gun. The second comment disclosed her being victimized by Lakewood City Council’s Rental Housing Safety Program (RHSP). My link will take you to the article and her two comments.
Her second comment is quoted below:
“Elizabeth James says
OCTOBER 2, 2017 AT 6:29 AM
We are a renters in the Lakewood area. A family with four children. We are being evicted because of the this!
[This = City of Lakewood’s Rental Housing Safety Program (RHSP) – Bracketed words added by Joe Boyle]
Our landlord gave us a 30 day vacate! We have nowhere to go, nor is this sufficient time to save to move either. Lost, broken and on the verge of homelessness”
END OF QUOTE.
After reading Elizabeth’s remarks, my throat started to constrict making it difficult to breathe. My eyeballs felt like they were going to pop out from the pressure of tears welling up in reaction to Elizabeth’s sad, unnecessary, and tragic event caused by Lakewood City Council’s RHSP.
I have failed Lakewood City Council and I have failed Elizabeth’s family. With more than a half century of problem-solving experience, I have been unable to penetrate the harsh bureaucratic veneer of our Lakewood City Council in my effort to help them understand they are taking our city in the wrong problem-solving direction.
I have written and published countless articles. I have spoken to the Lakewood City Council. All my efforts have had no positive constructive impact and because of my failure, City Council remains blind to the big picture.
City Council’s RHSP turns out to be a home wrecker. Because of City Council’s RHSP a family of two adults and four children have lost their two bedroom home. RHSP has generated the first case of punishing innocent citizens.
While I realize not one person on our city council intended for this to happen, their view from the elevated council dais while drenched in college degrees, wealth, home ownership and power blinds them to the reality of the struggles of a low-income family trying to survive in the trenches of their world.
Perhaps City Council will simply chalk-up this family’s destruction as necessary collateral damage required to implement the RHSP. This kind of unintended outcome is no surprise. It was predicted by RHSP critIcs.
How many innocent people does Lakewood need to crush before City Council is willing to decide that RHSP is not the best slum eradicator?
It appears entirely appropriate that Lakewood City Council should reach out to help their first RHSP victim family. Elizabeth’s family needs Lakewood City Council to provide them with $500 per month so they can manage their new post-RHSP rent which Elizabeth projects to be a minimum of $1,200 per month if and when they find a rental home.
If Lakewood City Council cannot afford to give Elizabeth the $500 per month, how does Council expect Elizabeth to afford their RHSP generated rent increase?
After writing this article, I succeeded in my effort to make direct contact with both the RHSP victim and her RHSP victimized landlord. You can expect an article or two outlining what I learned during my interview of the two victims to follow shortly.