The tiny, San Gabriel Valley city of Industry is shaping up to be this year's Vernon. Just like formerly corrupt little Vernon, Industry has been able to offer uncommonly cheap rents to many of its 220 residents, says the Pasadena Star-News. "Eighty-six of the 97 registered voters in the City of Industry live in homes that are either owned by the municipal housing authority" or by companies under the charge of the city's former mayor (and major property owner), David Perez. Those rentals seemed to be packed with city employees or friends and family of the former mayor.
Rents mostly run between $600 and $700 a month for entire houses—Nice, well-kept houses! With multiple bedrooms!—on lots with spacious front and backyards. Utilities aren't included in those rents, but trash pickup and maintenance are. (A company run by Perez oversees trash collection in Industry.) The city manager and the city clerk live in cute houses near City Hall for these rates; so do six members of Perez's family.
These same rock-bottom rents even apply to hilltop houses next to a golf course that have "sweeping views" of the SGV; a planning commissioner, the assistant treasurer, and the official who oversees Industry's 50-resident retirement home are taking advantage of the prices there. (A word about that old folks home: "Voter rolls show four residents of the facility are registered to vote, but at least one is dead, according to family members. The other three could not be located.")
Incidentally, Industry has been holding out for a long time on building actual, legitimate affordable housing in their city—something that the LA County Board of Supervisors has gone after Industry for in the past. A recent audit also found that Industry had paid out $326 million to companies either owned outright by Perez or by family over the last two decades. Industry is also on the hook for a nearly $6-million fine for doing unauthorized construction at a city-owned site that resulted in dumping about 880,000 gallons of dirt and rocks into the San Gabriel River and harming wildlife.
· Experts: City of Industry home ownership creates ground for corruption, malfeasance [PSN]
· City of Industry May Have to Pay $6M Fine for Messing Up San Gabriel River [Curbed LA]