Santa Ana officials expressed hope Thursday that new federal money soon will be available for relocation assistance to tenants forced from their homes by the crackdown on slum dwellings launched last April.
Mayor Daniel E. Griset, City Manager Robert C. Bobb and Phil Freeland, the city's housing director, were in Washington, D. C. on Thursday to discuss the additional aid with Al Moran, assistant secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and his staff.
"I don't want to sound too optimistic," Freeland said after the meeting, but he added that Santa Ana's "unique situation and unique response" to its housing problem had "sparked everyone's interest."
The Santa Ana officials presented Moran with a 22-page booklet outlining the need for extra funds for a relocation assistance program that was approved last month with $100,000 in federal grant money.
The program, administered by the Legal Aid Society of Orange County, is designed to develop a revolving fund from court settlements of lawsuits against slum landlords.
"We are asking for the additional $200,000 in HUD discretionary funds to supplement the funds available in the family assistance program," said George Gragg, Santa Ana's community preservation officer.
To date, the housing-code crackdown has prompted the eviction of about 575 tenants, of which an estimated 280 are family members, said Rita Hardin, code enforcement coordinator.