Local building given 60-day notices to vacate, tenants protest owner
Residents of 16 units from 278 E. Washington Blvd. in northwest Pasadena, known as the Washington 16, protested in front of their landlord’s Arcadia residence on Friday after receiving 60-day notices on June 1 to vacate their homes. The group of protesters demanded that all Tenant Protection Ordinance (TPO) requests be fulfilled and that the remaining tenants be given extra time to find housing.
According to the Pasadena Tenant Justice Coalition (PTJC), the residents received the notices taped to their homes without explanation, were not offered first right of refusal, and all were in good standing. The group claims that since then the Washington 16 have protested at the Pasadena City Council multiple times and on July 1 sent a letter to the new owners, Jeff Lee of Nevis Capital LLC, demanding a six-month extension and immediate full relocation benefits per Pasadena’s Housing Department’s updated TPO. However, tenants claim they have received no formal response from Lee and have now taken their grievances to the doorstep of their landlord.
The modified TPO requires landlords to provide relocation benefits to tenants displaced when “a change in property ownership has occurred within 18 months prior to the tenant being issued a notice of eviction, tenancy termination, or rent increase which exceeds 5% plus the percentage annual change in the Consumer Price Index.” To be eligible for TPO relocation benefits, tenants must be in good standing with incomes not exceeding 140% of the Los Angeles County area median income.
PJTC claims families are scrambling to find housing before the school year starts, and seniors and cancer patients are struggling to secure housing they can afford. According to a press release issued by the coalition, 13 of the tenants have already moved but three tenants — including an 86-year-old veteran who has lived in the apartment complex for nearly 40 years and is unable to afford rent in the area — remain unable to secure new housing.