Neighborhood Opposes Housing Official's Plan to Raze Rent Control Units

Neighborhood Opposes Housing Official's Plan to Raze Rent Control Units
Edinburgh Avenue via Google Maps

The mission of the California Housing Finance Agency is to support "the needs of renters and home buyers by providing financing and home-loan programs that create safe, decent and affordable housing," the CalHFA's site declares.

So it's with some bitterness and irony that critics note the agency's board chair, Matthew Jacobs of Beverly Hills–based developer Bulldog Partners, is planning to kick out residents of eight rent-controlled units he owns in Beverly Grove in order to build eight three-story homes that should sell for more than $1 million each.

Like a lot of landlords these days, Jacobs apparently is invoking the state's Ellis Act, which allows owners to evict rent-control tenants if they plan on converting rental units to for-sale condos and houses.

This week the Mid-City West Community Council Planning and Land Use Committee took a look at the developer's plans to raze the structures at 750 N. Edinburgh Ave. and declared that it was unequivocally opposed to the project.

The council voted in favor of requiring an Environmental Impact Report — tantamount to more red tape — for the builder, but such votes are not binding on city officials' own, final consideration.

Neighborhood Opposes Housing Official's Plan to Raze Rent Control UnitsEXPAND
From plans submitted to neighborhood leaders

Opponents were also encouraged to send letters to the Department of City Planning.

Community council members say a developer's representative has not made any promises, telling them the owner would do only what was required by the city in order to get the project completed.

At the land-use meeting this week, tenant Alisha Wainwright "spoke emotionally about the impact of being evicted from her home," the neighborhood council said in a statement.

The council outlined its opposition:

Mid-City West Community Council opposes the project as proposed, on the grounds that it would entail the destruction of eight units of rent-stabilized, nearly 100-year-old, historic multifamily housing in the Beverly Grove area. We ask that the applicant prepare a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) for the project, including its impacts on rent-stabilized housing, Ellis Act evictions and the historic value of the existing structures.

We previously reached out to Jacobs to get his side of things, but he did not return our call.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow L.A. Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.


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