HUD fines 2 LA complexes, 6 others statewide over lead paint

Owners of the complexes face six-figure fines for failing to ensure children were safe

Lead paint (Credit: Mike Mozart via Flickr)
Lead paint (Credit: Mike Mozart via Flickr)

Federal officials say two federally assisted apartment complexes in Los Angeles and one in Fresno run by a Long Beach company failed to ensure children living there were not exposed to elevated levels of lead paint.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development cited five other buildings in California for lead levels, according to the Los Angeles Times. HUD notified the complexes on June 26 for violations dating to 2014 and every year since then.

The Los Angeles complexes issued notices were S&J Limited II, a 73-unit complex run by S&J II Ltd. and the Curtis Johnson Apartments.

Fines for each violation range from $27,000 to $37,000. The owners have 30 days to respond or claim an inability to pay.

S&J II Ltd. is liable for up to $507,000 in penalties. The company “knew that the property contained lead-based paint but failed to disclose this to tenants” and failed to conduct the necessary risk assessments, HUD said in a statement.

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There are a handful of Curtis Johnson Apartments in South Los Angeles, and HUD did not specify at which addresses there were issues. The buildings are owned by Curtis Johnson Community Partners LP, an Irvine entity tied to the affordable developer WNC.

HUD also accused Long Beach affordable developer LINC Housing Corp and partner Aperto Property Management of not conducting risk assessments at the Pleasant View Apartments complex in Fresno. Alex Nguyen, director of asset management for LINC, said the company has since submitted documents to the agency.

In April following a system-wide lead scandal at public housing complexes across New York, HUD decided that the New York City Housing Authority would need approval for every expenditure moving forward.

HUD said the notices are part of its new Protect Our Kids! campaign that Secretary Ben Carson launched earlier this month. [LAT] – Dennis Lynch