Residents in Sylmar home with RVs parked in backyard must leave by end of weekend, court rules

People living in an illegal RV compound behind a home in Sylmar have been given until Sunday, July 23 to get out. The property owner, Cruz Godoy, was told she too has to vacate the house on the property due to unsafe conditions found by inspectors this week. 

Power was cut off to the property by the city Tuesday when inspectors found that the RVs were tapping into the electrical grid. The city found out the residents were using splicing connections to the RVs, which have propane gas tanks.

"It’s an explosion waiting to happen," said one neighbor, who was in court Wednesday.

Despite the court order, the RV residents we spoke to don’t seem to believe they’ll have to move. Cruz has managed to keep the place going despite city investigations dating back to 2010, including more than 40 citations since 2016, when a lien was put on the property.


"They are giving us four days to fix it," said one resident, adamant that they won’t be made to move.

The city attorney’s office, giving us a copy of the complaint against Cruz, says that the city is working on ways to help the RV residents.

Neighbor Hector Rivera said if the "city can offer immediate assistance to immigrants bused in from Texas, why not these people who have been living here for years?"

The controversy surrounding the unusual setup in Sylmar comes as the homeless crisis continues to haunt Southern California. A new report published in 2023 revealed the homeless head count across Los Angeles went up 10% while the population went up by 9% countywide last year.

SUGGESTED: Los Angeles Homeless Count 2023 results released, showing 10% increase in city of LA

Below is a full statement released by Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez's office, who represents the Sylmar area:

"A court-ordered pre-inspection on Tuesday, July 18, 2023 availed the first opportunity for the City of Los Angeles access to the private property located at 14008 W. Hubbard Street and conduct a comprehensive inspection of the premises, in advance of the Wednesday, July 19 court hearing which was scheduled due to previous citations and noncompliance. The court-ordered pre-inspection Tuesday revealed additional public health and safety concerns that prompted intervention from the Department of Water and Power to shut down power access to the property. Councilwoman Rodriguez in the last two weeks has been discretely coordinating resources to offer alternative housing solutions to those residing in the RV’s and working with Emergency Management and Recreation and Parks Departments to stand up emergency shelter upon being informed that power would be shut off. 

This pre-inspection action builds upon the initial efforts led by Councilwoman Rodriguez, who immediately reported the private property to LADBS when notified of the issue, resulting in violations and compliance notices. The initial reporting to LADBS is what directly led to the current court case and the mandatory pre-inspection. A resolution for the property was further complicated as the property is in the City of Los Angeles and the City of San Fernando."

Below is a statement issued by Rodriguez:

"While this case continued through the court system, we recognized the severity and grave circumstances with this private property and worked with great urgency to alleviate the impacts for both the individuals living on the property and neighboring residents. In advance of the court-ordered 4-day vacate notice issued today, we operated with measured discretion and urgency for the protection of the residents on the property. In collaboration with our Emergency Management and Recreation and Parks Departments, we quickly assembled emergency shelter and housing relocation assistance through a partnership with the Los Angeles Housing Department and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. Media attention has inhibited and stalled residents of the property from seeking assistance. The conditions on this private property are an exploitation of vulnerable people seeking housing, and I am thankful for the success of our coordinated response that brings some immediate resolution for neighbors and residents at the property in question."