Veterans program in Echo Park closes | Cheap homes in El Sereno | Sheriff sued over deputy shooting in East LA

A Roundup of Eastside News & Info

A program in  Echo Park for mostly homeless veterans closes. A few lucky people in El Sereno could get really cheap  homes. And the  county sheriff’s department is hit with lawsuit over a fatal deputy shooting. Here’s your News & Notes for Monday:

Echo Park veterans housing program shuts down 

A  72-bed program for veterans in Echo Park will close down Monday after six years, reported the LA Times.  Located in a residential neighborhood with views, the tranquil cottages in the gentrifying neighborhood offered mostly homeless veterans a peaceful respite with close amenities and chance to get on their feet.

But Volunteers of America, which operates the program,  told the Times  the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will end the program but gave no real reason for the decision. A department spokeswoman told the news organization the program was ending because there were better applicants for the grant of $1 million a year but didn’t reveal more details on who they were.

Volunteers of America has slowly been moving residents into other housing, including a 500-bed shelter in Bell.

It’s not clear what will happen to the bungalows where the vets had been living. They are part of the Gateway Hospital, which has been treated patients with mental health problems and addiction.

A million  dollar home could go for as little as $24,000

Million dollar homes in El Sereno and South Pasadena could soon be sold to low-income renters for as little as $24,000 — their value decades ago, Pasadena Star News reported. Their owner, CalTrans, is trying  to  unload hundreds of its properties  along the path of a dead  proposal to extend the 710  freeway 4.5 miles. But a California  Superior Court judge ruled earlier this month the  agency didn’t have the authority to  mark up the price for inflation when selling them to their low-income renters, according to the Star News.

Three low-income female renters argued the state should sell them the  homes at the original price and  sued the state agency when it offered to sell  below market rate last year, but  hundreds of thousands more than they paid for it. One of those women, Angeles Flores, has lived in her home decades. CalTrans paid $23,733 and wanted to charge her $171,547. Homes near her go  for $1 million. CalTrans has until May 17 to appeal.

Mom of man fatally shot by sheriff deputies in East L.A. sues 

The mother of a 21-year-old fatally shot by two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies searching for robbery suspects in the Nueva Maravilla Housing Community last summer sued the county and department for wrongful death, the LA Times reported.

The lawsuit claims Anthony Daniel Vargas was unarmed and posed no imminent threat Aug. 12 when he was shot. But, officials then told the Times, he resisted deputies attempts to handcuff him before he pulled a gun from his waistband and deputies got into a violent struggle. Vargas had a gun in his hand when they shot him,  officials had  said.

We reported then, the  deputy-involved shooting took place after a man was robbed at gunpoint at about 2 am. The victim directed officers to a group of individuals, who fled across the housing complex.

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