Help Protect Northeast LA Elders & Disabled from Homelessness
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The tenants at Reflections on Yosemite, 1560 Yosemite Drive, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, call for an immediate suspension of all rent increases. The majority of the residents are senior and disabled individuals on fixed incomes from Social Security andSSIDisability. They have been subjected to emotional and financial distress by the Housing Authority (HACLA) since it began imposing rent increases in July, 2016.
HACLA’s original rent hikes were 32% to 58% increases for 19 tenants with plans to raise the rents for the rest of the non-subsidized residents. After calls and letters to José Huizar’s office, the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council, local newspapers, and to HACLA, this was eventually amended to a 6% rent increase. This demonstrates that HACLA cynically put profits before the people it has pledged to assist and protect. Moreover, these actions may be in violation of the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the California UNRUH Civil Rights Act and other fair housing laws related to age discrimination. Due to the residents’ continued outcry and their testimony at the Board of Directors of the Housing Authority’s Annual Planning meeting, coupled with vigorous protest from the Los Angeles Tenants Union, HACLA dropped the rent hikes to 3%. This increase has been implemented. Yet even this 3% hike is an extreme hardship for the fixed low-income seniors.
The average monthly income of members of the Reflections at Yosemite Tenants’ Association is $1,258.00. The average monthly rent is $703.00. Therefore, residents are paying an average of 55%, some up to 75%, of their income on rent. Several have reported struggling to buy food and medicine after paying rent. For 2017, the Social Security cost-of-living increase, 0.3%, was negated by the increased Medicare cost. For this most vulnerable population of low income people, a 3% rent increase is untenable; for many, it threatens homelessness. Due to these extreme economic hardships, the residents require an indefinite moratorium on rent hikes of any amount.
The Housing Authority’s purpose is to provide safe, affordable housing for low income people. Its strategic mission states that it will “...create viable, healthy communities...while developing and maintaining a strong culture of mutual respect, fiscal responsibility, and ethical behavior...” The Yosemite Tenants’ Association and the Los Angeles Tenants Union expect and insist that HACLA adhere to its declared commitment to ethical behavior and responsibility by not violating its own mission or the rights of its tenants to fair treatment and affordable housing. We, the undersigned, demand that all rent increases cease immediately.
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