Firm Agrees to Add Staff for AIDS/HIV Housing

Times Staff Writer

Responding to city-ordered review, a West Hollywood company that runs a housing complex for people with AIDS pledged Monday night to hire an additional staff member to monitor tenants’ needs for social services.

A spokesman for the West Hollywood Community Housing Corp. told the City Council that the additional staff member will spend one afternoon and one morning per week at the Palm View Apartments.

The City Council hired a New York consultant to review conditions there after four tenants complained that resident Kevin McDaniel was abandoned by managers of the complex when his health declined a year ago.


The complex’s resident services coordinator said McDaniel had refused help.

After a call from one of the residents, county paramedics took McDaniel to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was treated for 21 days.

The company provides subsidized units for low-income people with AIDS. Tenants live on their own, but a resident services coordinator monitors their need for social services and links them to providers.

The consultant found that one staff member served too many tenants at the 12 buildings managed by the firm, all at various locations in West Hollywood.

On Monday night, the housing corporation presented its response to the consultant’s review. Council members approved that 19-page response in a 4-1 vote and asked the corporation for an update in April.

Council member Sal Guarriello, the sole dissenting vote, said he felt the problem of providing care to sick tenants had not been addressed, particularly in cases in which they experienced problems with their medications.

“At one time or another, these people’s cocktails don’t work, and they go into dementia and they’re sick,” Guarriello said. “Somebody needs to be there and know what’s going on.”

Mayor Pro Tem John Duran disagreed, saying that the management was not responsible for delivering medical care. That, he said, “should be left to health-care providers, people qualified and trained to deal with people with HIV/AIDS.”

The company also presented new protocols for staff members to follow when a tenant’s health appears to be failing.

If a resident signed the agreement, management would have permission to intervene if a resident becomes seriously ill.

The $6.56-million complex, which opened in 1998, was funded with city and county money and private donations from the entertainment industry.