Faced with impending eviction proceedings, the remaining tenants at the Lincoln Place apartment complex in Venice have been given three more months to consider relocation.
Eviction proceedings for the remaining tenants — all of whom are either elderly or disabled — were scheduled to resume as early as Thursday, June 1st, at the 38-acre property, bounded by Penmar Avenue and Lake and Frederick Streets in Venice.
But officials at Apartment Investment and Management Company (AIMCO), the Lincoln Place owner, have agreed to halt the evictions until Thursday, August 31st, to allow the tenants to consider “enhanced relocation” packages.
Denver-based AIMCO plans to redevelop the garden-style complex built in 1951.
AIMCO senior vice president Patti Shwayder informed Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl Wednesday, May 31st, that the company will send formal letters to the remaining tenants, giving them each 30 days to negotiate individual relocation offers.
“I am thrilled by this news,” Rosendahl said. “It gives everyone involved a little time to take a deep breath and assess their options.
“This was the fair and right thing for AIMCO to do for the seniors and the disabled tenants.”
Tenants from 52 Lincoln Place apartment units were evicted in early December when the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department acted on court-ordered evictions requested by AIMCO.
Sheila Bernard, Lincoln Place Tenants Association president, said 47 households remain at Lincoln Place.
But while the tenants have been given more time with the delay, they will keep fighting the evictions, she said.
“Anything that gives us a bit of reprieve or a little more relaxation is good,” said Bernard, who still lives at the complex with her daughter.
“We all knew that if we wanted to stay, we would have to fight. We’re going to keep on fighting.”
Lincoln Place tenant Freida Marlin, who has lived at the complex for 25 years, said the tenants will keep pushing for more eviction delays “until we win.”
“We’re handicapped and old and we have no place to go,” said Marlin, who lives with her son.
“We have community here and they want to take it away. We want to stay.”
AIMCO’s decision to delay the eviction proceedings came just a day after the Los Angeles City Council voted to reject a Rosendahl motion to record restrictive development conditions on the Lincoln Place property.
Shwayder said AIMCO decided on the delay because many tenants had requested more time to work with Bob Shober, of Shober Consulting, for relocation options.
“We thought it was appropriate to give them more time to work with (Shober) to find another place to live,” Shwayder said.
“People need adequate time to move and we thought it (the delay) was the smart thing to do.”
Shober Consulting plans to work with each of the remaining tenants to develop individually tailored relocation packages, which include help in finding new homes, cash payments and moving expenses.
The relocation offers vary depending on the tenant, Shwayder said.
“(Shober) will work with them one on one to accommodate their needs,” she said.
While Shwayder said hundreds of Lincoln Place tenants have accepted relocation packages since October 2004, many tenants have also rejected previous relocation offers.
The remaining tenants “try to stick together” in their efforts to stay at Lincoln Place, Bernard said.
“We try to stay as a community,” she said.
“Most of us are still hopeful that something good could happen.”
Bernard said she thinks most of the remaining tenants will continue to reject relocation offers as they fight to stop the evictions until the very end.
“They will have to pry me out of here with a crow bar,” she said.