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City housing units vacant for long time

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By David Giuliani

Las Vegas’ housing authority is meeting and exceeding standards, except for one category, the agency’s director said last week.

It takes, on average, hundreds of days for turnaround on housing authority units, Director Robert Pacheco said. The standard for turnaround should be 25 days, he said.

“The housing authority put units on modernization status years ago. They thought the clock would stop until you could fix them,” Pacheco told the City Council at its regular meeting.

But he said the clock kept on ticking, as is called for under federal standards.

According to a housing authority report, the agency has turned around 40 units in the last year, leasing them to people.

In 2005, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development placed the local agency on troubled status because of violations of financial regulations, problems with the authority’s waiting list and a high number of vacancies.

Since then, the authority has been aiming to meet federal standards and get out of troubled status, which means heightened federal scrutiny.

In other business, the City Council appointed public housing resident Ember Davis to a two-year term to sit with the council when it considers housing issues. The city is required to have a public housing resident to vote on such matters.

Davis replaces Inez Bolivar, who served only about nine months of her term. She was arrested last year after she allegedly attacked her former boyfriend while she was armed and in uniform as a deputy for the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Department.

City officials said Bolivar resigned her post.