The Los Angeles City Council has called on all parties in the dispute over the Lincoln Place apartment complex in Venice to return to the negotiating table and stop a series of evictions at the complex.

The City Council unanimously supported a motion from 11th District Councilman Bill Rosendahl Tuesday, December 13th, to urge Lincoln Place owner Apartment Investment and Management Company (AIMCO), the Lincoln Place Tenants Association and historical preservationists to return to negotiations.

Tenants from 52 apartment units at Lincoln Place were evicted Tuesday, December 6th, when the County Sheriff’s Department acted on court-ordered evictions requested by AIMCO.

“Everyone must come together and find a resolution,” Rosendahl said. “These evictions are intolerable.

“We cannot continue to see the middle class and affordable housing be squeezed out of the Westside.”

The City Council also unanimously approved a second Rosendahl motion, directing various city departments to conduct a sweeping review of the state Ellis Act and make recommendations for state legislative reform.

The Ellis Act, which has been invoked by AIMCO, allows landlords to go out of the rental business and evict tenants.

Rosendahl said the act has been abused and misinterpreted, resulting in widespread condominium conversions and reducing affordable housing stock citywide.

“If this continues, we will continue to lose affordable housing at a time when we need to increase it,” Rosendahl said.

“It is time we stood up for renters and for the middle class,” he said.

The Ellis Act motion is expected to be heard in the council’s Housing Committee before the end of the year.

Rosendahl said he has contacted State Attorney General Bill Lockyer, who has agreed to investigate potential reform of the Ellis Act.

Rosendahl said he has also been meeting with state lawmakers to find a champion of such reform in Sacramento.

The City Council action Tuesday, December 13th, came after nearly 90 minutes of deliberations on the Lincoln Place evictions.

The council heard from tenants and their supporters for 50 minutes, and then held a closed-door briefing with representatives of the city attorney.

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