Inglewood City Council held a special meeting on April 7 to sell a home to a winner of last year’s housing lottery. Councilmen George Dotson and Eloy Morales were not present. The initial staff report approving the first-time homebuyers program misled Inglewood taxpayers as to where the funds were actually coming from.
The first time homebuyer program guidelines were created and approved by council August 21, 2018. As par the course, a peculiar variation of City Manager Artie Fields’ name was on the Executive Director approval line.
The guidelines approved up to $350,000 per person as long as they qualified with a loan in the amount of $250,000. The document explicitly stated there would be no impact to the general fund, as $2 million was available in the Low-Moderate Income Housing Fund.
During a special council meeting held November 14, 2019, HUD Program Manager Roberto Chavez requested $1.2 million from the General Fund to purchase two homes. One home was for Jazmin Covington, a city employee, for $600,000 plus closing costs and the other home for $579,000 plus closing costs, on Qiana Redine’s behalf. Covington was number one and Redine number five on the housing lottery list. It is unknown if the city will make similar arrangements for those in positions two through four.
During the creation of the first-time homebuyer, the purchase of the home on November 14 and the April 7 sale to Redine, is missing Department Head signature from CFO/Assistant City Manager David Esparza.
Chavez, Esparza and Fields have not responded to comment about why the Low-Moderate Income Funds weren’t used when they were allegedly available in August 2018.