After hearing emotional testimony from a 12-year-old girl and other residents, the City Council has agreed to negotiate a loan of as much as $565,000 to help the La Habra Neighborhood Housing Service buy and rehabilitate more than a dozen rental apartments on Garnet Lane.
The group's executive director, Glenn Hayes, said the issue will be back before the council for final approval within weeks. Under current plans, the city would loan the housing group federal funds designated for housing rehabilitation and the organization would use the money to rehabilitate 14 to 20 rental units.
Myra Moreno, a student at Kraemer Junior High School, told council members at a meeting last week that she is afraid to walk through her own neighborhood. The girl said she often is harassed as she travels to and from school, and "I don't like seeing a lot of drugs and drunks."
Others said they must share living quarters with friends or family members because rents in the neighborhood are so high.
"There would be less problems, less trash, less cars and the streets would be safer and better for families to live in if the rents were affordable for single families who work minimum-wage jobs," said resident Leticia Casillas, 29.
The council's action last week was applauded by residents and landlords, who said they would welcome help from the housing organization.