Pro Bono News

Rent Hikes Averted in Chinatown Building (CA)

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Rent Hikes Averted in Chinatown Building

"Residents of a low-income building in Chinatown are getting a reprieve from the threat of skyrocketing rents following the involvement of the local City Council office.

Last month, the office of First District City Councilman Gil Cedillo and the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles announced that preliminary terms had been agreed to on a deal to avoid rent hikes and possible evictions for 59 residents of Hillside Villa. The project at 636 N. Hill Place opened in 1988 and, as part of its initial agreement, could have begun charging market rates last summer. The city and owner Thomas Botz are working on a deal that could keep the units dedicated to low-income tenants for another decade (the deal does not include additional apartments in the building that are largely occupied by people who have Section 8 housing vouchers to subsidize their rent, according to the Legal Aid Foundation).

The deal is being finalized, but the landowner has walked back proposed rent hikes of up to 90%, and eviction notices sent to some tenants on June 1 have been rescinded. Brandon Dimond, an attorney representing Botz, said the property owner has guaranteed to extend the current rates for a full year.

“Rents will remain stable, only going up on July 31, 2020,” Dimond told Los Angeles Downtown News..."

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