Keeping Faith with Lincoln Place
Earlier today, after a prolonged and thorough debate, the City Council voted 8-5 against a motion I proposed that would have kept faith with the tenants of Lincoln Place Apartments in Venice.
It was a simple motion, really. In 2003, the City approved a tentative tract map for a redevelopment on the 37 acre site. In an attempt to preserve affordable rental housing in Los Angeles, the conditions -- which the owner agreed to -- more or less said that the tenants could not be evicted.
Since then, the owners have failed to officially "record" the tract map. But they have proceeded with it anyway. In 2003, the owners demolished a few units, which even the state Appellate Court said triggered the project's mitigations. That should have prevented any evictions, but last December, the current owners evicted 58 households. It was a brutal and ugly day.
Fewer than fifty households remain at Lincoln Place. They all include seniors and people with disabilities. AIMCO, the current owner, is poised to evict them, too.
I asked my colleagues to stand with the tenants and join me in a motion to officially record the conditions of approval, so we could a strong and clear and message that the evictions are out of line and a violation of the law. Afetr all, if the City places conditions on a development, it only makes sense to enforce those conditions.
My colleagues Tony Cardenas, Janice Hahn, Jose Huizar, and Tom LaBonge stood with us -- despite the strenuous objections of our city attorney's office. I thank them and the tenants thank them for their vote. And I thank Mayor Villaraigosa, who permitted Deputy Mayor Larry Frank to testify in our favor.
This battle is not yet over. I am determined to keep on fighting these unlawful and unfair evictions. I will continue to stand with the tenants at Lincoln Place.
Here is a copy of the letter I sent to my colleagues today. And here is the copy of the motion that we asked the vote on.