Los Angeles City Council District 11 candidate Bill Rosendahl has requested the owner of the Lincoln Place Apartment complex in Venice to immediately put a stop to the eviction procedures for tenants of the complex.
Colorado-based AIMCO (Apartment Investment Management Company) purchased the 696-unit Lincoln Place complex more than a year ago and has proposed to redevelop the property, which is located east of Lincoln Boulevard, between Lake Street and Palms Boulevard.
The complex was built between 1949 and 1951 on a 38-acre parcel.
AIMCO has not released its specific plans for redevelopment, but the company has begun the process of removing all of the remaining tenants.
To remove tenants, the owner offered a relocation package for several months — which included financial benefits if tenants moved by a certain date — instead of the state Ellis Act, which permits landlords to leave the rental business.
But the property owner decided to invoke the Ellis Act Monday, March 21st, when tenants began to receive eviction notices.
Rosendahl, a Mar Vista resident, is running for the 11th District seat against Flora Gil Krisiloff in the Tuesday, May 17th, City Council District 11 runoff election.
At a meeting in the Penmar Community Center Sunday, April 3rd, Rosendahl expressed his opposition to the eviction notices and requested that AIMCO halt the eviction procedures.
“The Ellis Act is a threatening effort by the owner,” he said. “It causes grave concern for the tenants.”
Krisiloff said she is also against any Ellis Act evictions of tenants at Lincoln Place.
“I, too, am real opposed to the evictions of all these people, especially when the entitlement issues have not been settled and there are a good number of people still living there,” Krisiloff said.
Rosendahl said AIMCO’s use of the Ellis Act at this time to remove tenants is “outrageous,” and there may be a question of legality for invoking the act now.
There are two pending lawsuits against the City of Los Angeles, which are scheduled to be heard in appellate court in June and may determine the fate of Lincoln Place redevelopment.
One lawsuit concerns the certification of an environmental impact report (EIR) and the other challenges the city issuance of demolition permits.
Sheila Bernard, president of the Lincoln Place Tenants Association, said the tenants are “very appreciative” of Rosendahl’s support to halt the Ellis Act evictions and preserve affordable housing.
“We’re facing a very serious and unjust situation here and Bill has stepped up strongly to say he will do what he can to help,” Bernard said.
Rosendahl said he strongly urges AIMCO to delay eviction procedures until the court processes are done and that, if elected, he would “continue to fight for the tenants.”
Krisiloff also said that AIMCO will “not make any progress at this point” with the evictions because of the many pending legal issues.
When requesting AIMCO to rescind the eviction notices, Rosendahl said tenants must be fully educated about their rights under the Ellis Act because “they need to know what the Ellis Act is all about.”
Public safety at Lincoln Place must be preserved, because while the seniors and disabled tenants have a year to move under the act, other tenants must move sooner, creating a “semi-abandoned state” at the complex, he said.
Both Rosendahl and Krisiloff agree that all of the remaining apartment tenants should be allowed to stay for the full year.
Rosendahl also said building and safety codes must be aggressively enforced on the property.
The two 11th District City Council candidates have also said that the unique apartment complex is part of the history of Venice and should be preserved.
“I feel very strongly that we need to come up with a compromise and agreement to maintain these buildings,” Krisiloff said.
“Venice is all about quality living for all of us, not just the high class,” Rosendahl said. “Lincoln Place is part of the soul of Venice.
“If we destroy the middle-class complex, we’re really destroying the soul of who we are,” he said.