The mass eviction of an aging apartment complex in West LA could be the largest of its kind in recent years.
The owner of the Barrington Plaza Complex is evicting all the tenants that live in the building, some of whom have lived there for decades.
The building itself has a history of life-threatening fires and is in serious need of renovations that could take several years to complete.
The complex’s 577 occupied units were informed that with very limited exceptions they have four months to relocate.
“This is my family, this is my LA family and this is our community,’ said Jackie Fournier, a Barrington Plaza resident.
Barrington Plaza has had two fires, one in 2018 and the second in 2020 that led to the death of a college student. The landlord says that they are undertaking what is called a “fire and safety improvement project.” It will include adding a sprinkler system.
The project will come at a price of over $300 million and could take multiple years before tenants are allowed to move back in.
“I’m just kind of waiting to see what they are going to tell us as far as what our relocation assistance is going to be,” Fournier said.
The landlord said they are not just giving relocation payments but they will also have relocation specialists.
“Barrington Plaza will have relocation specialists available at the property who can provide individualized tenant support and aid in locating, viewing, and moving into new residences,” said Landlord Douglas Emmett Inc., in a statement.
Some of the units are under rent control but the landlord insists that the majority of the tenants are paying current market price. They say they are following all state and local laws to get the buildings up to code.
But residents are a bit skeptical saying they believe the plan is to tear Barrington Plaza down and start all over.
“There’s a lot of single people in our complex, there’s a lot of people with children that have to be within the same school district, a lot of elderly people, a lot of people who walk to work,” Fournier said. “It’s just a hardship for many people.”
Fournier is worried that housing in LA will no longer be affordable or available for her or her Barrington Plaza family.
“We know affordable housing is not easy in LA,” Fournier said.
In response to those comments made by residents the landlord company told NBC4, “Absolutely not.”
Source: NBC Los Angeles
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