Packed In: Overcrowded housing in Los Angeles has brought death by design.
When one door closes, the other two open. And what’s a door without a lock?
There’s a simple psychological reason: A locked door creates a powerful psychological force of fear. We remember not only who broke in and what they wanted to do, but also how long they have to make us suffer.
Which brings us to the Los Angeles Housing Authority, and the fact that it has, all of a sudden, decided to turn one door on its hinges into a three-faced lock: “All public hearings on developments in Los Angeles are now classified as ‘Public Use hearings.’ Public use hearings are to be held after development is completed, are to last no more than two hours, and are to be opened only by designated agency personnel.”
It’s a little less than a week after the City Council voted to deny the housing authority its own hearing, the Los Angeles City Council’s Public Use Hearing Process of 2016, which had been designed to prevent housing development that might endanger residents of the city.
We’ve been here before. This is the fifth round of hearings, and the third round, in the last two years, to deny the housing authority the right to hold its own public hearings, and the second round in 2017, the third in 2018, the fourth in 2019, and the fifth in 2020.
But this time’s hearings might be different.
On first glance, it doesn’t appear that the LA Housing Authority is trying to block housing development, as has been the case in the past. But as in previous hearings, the LA Housing Authority and its attorney, Scott Schook, have used the opportunity to argue that the proposed development will benefit public interests, and therefore is in the public’s best interests.
What Schook and the LA Housing Authority are trying to do here is to use an excuse to do what they otherwise won’t be allowed to do: hold a public hearing.
The idea here is not out of ignorance. The housing authority