Tenants at Downtown Hotel Reach Settlement of Lawsuit

LOS ANGELES -- Low-income and disabled Alexandria Hotel tenants who complained of being displaced from the downtown Los Angeles residential building or having their utilities shut off have negotiated a settlement of a lawsuit against their landlords and the city.

The tenants filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles in December 2007, seeking to correct alleged violations of tenants' rights at the building at 501 S. Spring St.

The terms of the accord include the establishment of a $400,000 fund to benefit eligible former tenants and an agreement by the city and its Community Redevelopment Agency to toughen policies so as to avoid a repeat of such problems.

Qualified tenants who lived at the Alexandria for at least 90 days before Aug. 10, 2006, will receive housing referrals at lower rental rates.

"This settlement is a great victory for all Alexandria Hotel tenants who were subjected to cruel and illegal practices, as well as being ignored and discredited by city officials at many levels," said Becky Dennison, co-director of the Los Angeles Community Action Network.

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