Ten­ants protest evic­tion or­der

Owner of Bev­erly Grove rent-con­trolled com­plex plans to build luxury res­i­dences.

Los Angeles Times - - THE STATE - By Har­riet Ryan har­riet.ryan@la­times.com

Ten­ants fac­ing evic­tion from rent-con­trolled apart­ments in Bev­erly Grove took their com­plaints against their land­lord, a de­vel­oper who serves as chair­man of the Cal­i­for­nia Hous­ing Fi­nance Agency, to his lat­est luxury res­i­den­tial project.

The group passed out fliers Satur­day crit­i­ciz­ing CalHFA Chair­man Matthew Ja­cobs in front of an open house for Bento Box 5, a five­u­nit devel­op­ment on the cor­ner of North Cres­cent Heights Boule­vard and Ro­maine Street in West Hol­ly­wood, with homes listed for higher than $1.4 mil­lion.

“We want peo­ple to know what he’s do­ing to the neigh­bor­hood,” said ten­ant Steven Luft­man, who has been told to va­cate his two-bed­room, less-than-$1,800-amonth apart­ment by Tues­day. “The fact is he’s mak­ing his for­tune by hurt­ing peo­ple.”

About 60 ten­ants protested Wed­nes­day out­side Ja­cobs’ home, Luft­man said.

Ja­cobs did not re­turn mes­sages seek­ing com­ment. He told KPCC last week that he plans to go ahead with his plans for the Bev­erly Grove apart­ment build­ings on North Flores Street and Ed­in­burgh Av­enue. The build­ings are to be razed and re­placed with more up­scale, mod­ern res­i­dences.

Ja­cobs, a Demo­crat, was ap­pointed to the CalHFA board in 2012 by Gov. Jerry Brown. The agency pro­vides mort­gage loans and pro­grams that “cre­ate safe, de­cent and af­ford­able hous­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for low- to mod­er­ate-in­come Cal­i­for­ni­ans,” ac­cord­ing to its web­site.

The Bev­erly Grove evic­tions are al­lowed un­der the state’s El­lis Act, which per­mits the evic­tion of rent-con­trolled ten­ants if own­ers plan to leave the rental busi­ness or tear down the build­ings. The law has be­come in­creas­ingly con­tro­ver­sial as more and more land­lords in­voke it. In Los An­ge­les, there are about 638,000 rent-con­trolled prop­er­ties. In 2013, own­ers filed to re­move about 378 of those from rent con­trol.

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