Jim Smith

Tenants Reclaim Lincoln Place

Six years after they were booted out of their homes by corporate landlord AIMCO, happy tenants began returning to newly refurbished apartments on April 15.

Evictees and their union, the Lincoln Place Tenant Association, plus a large number of Venice activists, never stopped fighting against the largest single-day eviction in Los Angeles County history.

They set up a tent city, held rallies, hired lawyers, won historical status, got Councilmember Bill Rosendahl’s support, and had lots of media coverage in the Beachhead and elsewhere. AIMCO finally agreed to restore the tenants to the vacant Apartment complex of nearly 800 units.

The process is slow going, only about a dozen of around 50 people have moved in so far. AIMCO  hasn’t exactly rolled out the welcome mat. Instead it has attached a number of “small print” restrictions on tenants that has caused a number of them to delay moving back until the lease language is modified. If AIMCO relents, the evictees will be back in their remodeled apartments by the end of May. Otherwise, the process may drag on for several more months. One unhappy evictee said, “it seems that AIMCO is still trying to drive people away.”

The remodeling of the apartments set aside for the returning tenants is nearly complete. AIMCO was to begin work on refurbishing the remaining several hundred units as agreed with the Los Angeles County Labor Federation which is providing an all union workforce. However, rumors are circulating that AIMCO may instead prioritize development on the empty lots (where apartments were illegally bulldozed several years ago). Similar looking, but more expensive apartments, will be built on these lots.

–Jim Smith

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