City Heights Homeowner Clashes with Housing Commission on Lead Removal Issue

Michael Sprague, a City Heights homeowner, addressed the San Diego City Council on March 29 about his experience with the San Diego Housing Commission.

Sprague, who served as chairman of the City Heights Area Planning Committee and helped spearhead the lead-abatement program for City Heights, says he is still dealing with incomplete lead-abatement work at his home.

“I have rarely been so saddened by our City,” said Sprague. “That [the Redevelopment Agency] is paying the Housing Commission to use, abuse, insult, and just rip people to shreds is simply inhuman.”

Sprague said that he was informed by the Housing Commission via email that he could be forcibly evicted from his home so that “some work” could be done to the site. He also claimed that the agency has yet to remove the lead paint that was removed from his home. Sprague claims that the Housing Commission has refused to pick up the removed paint for four months and passed over the responsibility to him, saying the waste should be removed immediately or it will be turned over to the City as a hazardous waste issue.

“At the end of the supposed lead abatement of my home, I have more unencapsulated lead now than I did before the project started,” he said. According to Sprague, the contractor — in order to save money and lumber — removed wood from the lead-contamination unit and used it throughout the house.

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Isn't this a good example of how redevelopment money could have been used to actually assist SD residents who need it rather than lining the pockets of corrupt city employees?

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