Irwindale officials investigate housing subsidy for councilman's mother
By Peter Fullam, Staff Writer twitter.com/peterfullam
Posted: 02/19/2013 09:08:06 PM PST
Updated: 02/20/2013 11:40:31 AM PST
RR&M Truck Parking in Irwindale on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013.
IRWINDALE - City officials are investigating senior housing policies following complaints at recent City Council meetings over a housing subsidy the city pays for a councilman's mother.
Several speakers at recent council meetings have complained that the city's Las Casitas senior housing complex is intended for low income seniors, and they claim Councilman Mark A. Breceda's 82-year-old mother should not qualify.
Breceda, one of two current and two former city officials awaiting trail on charges of embezzlement, vigorously denied the claims in a telephone interview Tuesday.
He said his mother is living off Social Security and receives no income from a business in which they are co-owners.
"She's 82 years old, and all she gets is her Social Security, that's it," said Breceda. "She has nothing."
According to documents produced by Northridge Group Inc., the Big Bear Lake firm oversees the certification of eligibility for residents to live at the senior home, Breceda's mother, Stella Breceda, pays $56 a month rent, one of the lowest rent rates for any of the complex's 26 units.
The city pays a subsidy of $444 a month to cover the balance of her rent, according to the documents.
In Las Casitas' annual recertification 2012 report, Stella Breceda reported 2011 annual income of $6,936.
Tax statements were not provided because the tenant's income level did not require filing taxes, according to a 2012 Irwindale
Housing Authority document.
Stella Breceda also is co-owner of an Irwindale business, RR&M Truck Parking, 200 E. Live Oak Ave.
The business occupies several acres of dirt, broken asphalt and gravel land used for storing big rigs and other vehicles.
It's on the west end of a long strip of automotive, muffler, and gravel businesses that line the Arrow Highway-Live Oak strip south of the Santa Fe Dam. The business is tucked between Peck Road Gravel Pit and a 1-800-TOILETS sign on United Site Services' storage area for portable toilets.
A representative at RR&M said Breceda instructed him not to give any information about the charge for parking at the facility or how many vehicles use it.
In the subsequent telephone interview, Breceda said his mother is listed as co-owner in title only and does not receive any income from the business.
"She has nothing to do with the business," he said.
According to a City of Irwindale business license certificate issued July 1, 2012, the business owners are Mark Breceda and Stella Breceda.
Mark Breceda, in his Feb. 1, 2012 statement of economic interests for the Fair Political Practices Commission reported annual income of $10,000 to $100,000 from RR&M.
He also listed two properties in Irwindale, each valued at between $100,001 and $1million.
At its Feb. 13 meeting, the City Council voted 3-0, with Breceda and Councilman Manuel Garcia abstaining, for staff to give the council a comprehensive report March 13 on the senior housing program and the process for certifying residents' eligibility to live at Las Casitas.