Did Anaheim Councilwoman Kris Murray Mislead Public About Rental Housing Program?

Kris Murray
Kris Murray

Anaheim's so-called "Quality Rental Housing Program" championed by councilwoman Kris Murray comes back to council today for a second reading. When it does, staff will revise a questionable questionnaire concerning occupancy limits set to go out to apartment owners starting this summer.

Murray feigned opposition to it last meeting. "I do not support the checklist that was included," she said at the time. "Many people don't understand is that very often we see the agenda at the same time as the public and that is the case in this situation as well."

But was last Tuesday really the first time the councilwoman saw the checklist that made the program really about booting poor residents more than slapping slumlords?

To recap, the controversial Management Practices Questionnaire central to rolling out the program asked intrusive questions like, "Does your rental agreement . . . state the maximum number of occupants permitted in the unit?" and "Are all adult occupants of each apartment named on the rental agreement?" Imposing occupancy restrictions rubs state law the wrong way, but the inquiries formed the basis for negotiated inspections of properties.

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Last week's council meeting was hardly the first surfacing of its contents, though. During a November 5, 2013 workshop presenting the revised program, Planning Director Sheri Vander Dussen noted some of the general info the questionnaire was trying to get at during her presentation. "Do they limit occupancy of units? Do they have house rules? Do they require the names of all adults living in the unit to appear on the lease?" she stated clearly.

"I did leave an outline of the proposal that includes more details than I covered in my verbal prescription at your places at the daises as well," Vander Dussen concluded.

Murray's response during the workshop? She sure as hell didn't raise holy hell over the checklist targeting overcrowding. "To the internal team that's been working for more than a year to get us to this point, I just want to express my sincere appreciation," said Murray in cheer leading the effort.

The councilwoman tried to cover her tracks last week saying she thought several documents related to the program were in "mock," "draft" or "sample" form, but a September 30, 2013 email obtained by the Weekly from Vander Dussen to Kris Murray attached the latest Quality Rental Housing Program write up at the time, including the questionnaire, keeping her in the loop of the latest developments.

Does anybody still believe that Kris Murray was genuinely opposed to the questionnaire?

Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @dpalabraz

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