A recent editorial ("Really Show the Man Around," May 31) in your newspaper indicated that I should take note of the problems and opportunities in the Jordan Downs housing development and their implications for broader housing policy reforms. I have spoken with Assemblywoman Maxine Waters and other outspoken advocates of public housing tenants in Los Angeles, and I share their concerns and intend to promote broadened tenant involvement, resident management and homeownership opportunities for the residents of Jordan Downs and other housing developments throughout the country.
Resident management and homesteading opportunities begin with tenant empowerment, and a commitment to a long-term process of training and community organization. I have directed every field office in the country, including Los Angeles, as well as HUD headquarters staff in Washington, D.C., to designate resident initiatives coordinators to work with public housing resident entities and housing authorities to lend the requisite technical support in this process of neighborhood empowerment. I have also announced a $2.5 million training grant process to provide direct funding to newly forming resident management entities.
The residents of Jordan Downs and their political supporters in Los Angeles succeeded in halting a proposed disposition of the project last year. New policies being promulgated at the Department of Housing and Urban Development will provide a greater role for tenant organizations in determining their own destiny. Resident management and homeownership opportunities provide a clear alternative to unwarranted demolition and disposition activities and a guaranteed equity stake for the residents of public housing.