The city will offer resources and housing options to more than 50 people residing in RVs parked on a private property in Sylmar where inspectors uncovered several health and safety hazards, city officials said Wednesday.
According to the office of Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, who represents Council District 7, which includes portions of Sylmar, a court-ordered pre-inspection occurred Tuesday, which availed the first opportunity for the city to access the private property at 14008 W. Hubbard St.
City officials conducted a “comprehensive” inspection of the premises, in advance of a court hearing Wednesday that had been scheduled due to previous citations and alleged noncompliance by the property owner, identified as Cruz Florian Godoy.
The inspection revealed additional public health and safety concerns that prompted intervention from the city Department of Water and Power to shut down power access to the property.
“Rodriguez in the last two weeks has been discretely coordinating resources to offer alternative housing solutions to those residing in the RVs and working with Emergency Management and Recreation and Parks Departments to stand up emergency shelter upon being informed that power would be shut off,” according to a statement from the councilwoman’s office.
According to reports, Godoy allowed roughly 20 RVs onto the property, charging each RV owner about $500 a month in rent.
ABC7 reported Godoy did not have permits allowing RVs on her property. Godoy was charged with two misdemeanors stemming from the parking of RVs and the maintenance of trash and debris.
Neighbors complained and reported smells coming from the address, then later captured on camera what they contended was human waste spilling into the street and into yards.
According to Rodriguez’s office, the councilwoman reported the issue to the Department of Building and Safety when notified of the complaints, resulting in violations and compliance notices.
“While this case continued through the court system we recognized the severity and grave circumstances with this private property and worked with great urgency to alleviate the impacts for both the individuals living on the property and neighboring residents,” Rodriguez said in a statement.
A judge on Wednesday ordered the Sylmar property to be vacated within four days, Rodriguez’s office confirmed.
“We operated with measured discretion and urgency for the protection of the residents on the property,” Rodriguez said in a statement.
Rodriguez also said her office was able to collaborate with the Emergency Management and Recreation and Parks departments to assemble emergency shelters.
The city’s Housing Department and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority responded to provide housing relocation services for RV residents who may be at risk of experiencing unsheltered homelessness, the councilwoman added.
“Media attention has inhibited and stalled residents of the property from seeking assistance,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “The conditions on this private property are an exploitation of vulnerable people seeking housing, and I am thankful for the success of our coordinated response that brings some immediate resolution for neighbors and residents at the property in question.”