Beverly Grove Residents Face Eviction

Bill Meyers has lived in his Beverly Grove apartment for 27 years.

Rent-controlled at $1,800 a month, it was a steal in a neighborhood where similar units go for upwards of $3,800.

But a few months ago, he and 18 other families received eviction notices.

A California law called the Ellis Act ostensibly allows landlords to "go out of business" and evict tenants in rent-controlled properties.

"What they're doing is just, it's inappropriate," Meyers said.

But it is legal.

Housing advocates, however, say it's being used by investors who buy the properties, then kick tenants out in order to flip the property for profit. Now that the real estate market is heating to a boil again, it's happening all over the city.


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"I did not know anything about this option 18 years ago," said Steven Luftman, referring to when he moved in.

An 11-unit townhome development will replace his complex. He says each will likely sell for more than $1 million.

"That gets me, too. I mean, the fact that we have very little affordable housing, and they're not adding to it," Luftman said.

The new developer of the property is Matthew Jacobs, chairman of the California Housing Finance Agency.

Calls to Jacobs to see if the project comports with his agency's mission to "create safe, decent and affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Californians" were not returned.

Most of the residents will be out by June 5. They are not going quietly, though. They plan to protest outside the home of the developer.

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