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Questions on HUD Subsidy Spur Ventura D.A. to Act

Housing: He defends mother's right to get aid in renting house from him but vows to give $639 monthly to charity.

August 12, 1997|CARLOS V. LOZANO | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Ventura County Dist. Atty. Michael D. Bradbury said Monday that he will make a charitable donation equivalent to the $639 he receives in federal subsidies each month to rent a house to his mother on his Ojai ranch property.

Bradbury's announcement followed an article Sunday in The Times that disclosed he has been receiving subsidies as a landlord of his mother, Marie, under the Department of Housing and Urban Development's Section 8 program for low-income housing assistance.

"I believe she has the right to receive the subsidy," Bradbury said. "If I die tomorrow, what would happen to her? She's the one that has the right [to the benefits]. I think that right should be protected."

Still, Bradbury said he believes there are people in the county who may be in more immediate need of assistance, referring to the roughly 6,900 people on waiting lists to get into the Section 8 housing program.

"The bottom line is I think there is merit to what has been said," said Bradbury, who earns a yearly salary of $131,804. "In order to protect the rights of my mother, I have decided to make a monetary contribution to help other people in need."

The district attorney said he plans to make a $639-a-month charitable donation to such Ventura County organizations as Many Mansions and Senior Concerns, both of which assist people in securing affordable housing.

Bradbury's comments came one day after U.S. Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo told The Times that he may further tighten new regulations set to take effect next month to prevent "high-income landlords" from renting to relatives. As part of his review, Cuomo said, HUD would establish guidelines defining "high income."

Bradbury's mother has lived since July 1995 in a manufactured house on her son's ranch, which was assessed last year at $558,000.

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