Use Eminent Domain To Protect Hillside Villa Families From Homelessness!

Use Eminent Domain To Protect Hillside Villa Families From Homelessness!

1,758 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
Petition to
President, LA City Council Nury Martinez and

Why this petition matters

We are the Hillside Villa Tenants' Association. 

The Hillside Villa Apartments in Chinatown were built 30 years ago with millions of dollars of public money.  Since then, they’ve provided an affordable, stable home for 124 families. We have built a multicultural family.  We are Latinx, Black, and Asian immigrants. We are parents and small children. We are LGBTQ. We are elders with fixed incomes and chronic illnesses.

Ever since our building’s affordability covenant expired in 2018, our extraordinarily wealthy slumlord, Tom Botz, has been trying to kick us out and replace us with market-rate tenants.

We have been fighting off Botz’s 200% rent increases and retaliation for nearly three years, including through the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, to keep our building affordable for the hundreds of low-income people -- including elders and children -- who live here.

When the city offered Botz $12.7 million to keep our homes affordable for just 10 more years, he refused. Botz has proven he will not negotiate in good faith. EMINENT DOMAIN BECAME OUR ONLY OPTION.

This summer, LA City Council budget committee will vote on whether to borrow $46 million from the city’s nearly $700 million reserve fund towards making Botz an offer for Hillside Villa. If he rejects the offer, the eminent domain process will begin. 

We need your help to get budget committee members Krekorian, Blumenfeld, De León, Price, and Rodriguez to vote YES to borrowing the funds!

We were notified of rent increases at the peak of the pandemic, when most of us had lost work, and were already having trouble keeping up with the old rent. As the state and city reopen, we don’t know if protections will expire before we are able to get back on our feet. Many of us have been in this community for decades, but if we are swept up in the massive wave of evictions that is coming, we will not be able to afford market rate rents anywhere near Chinatown.  But we deserve to stay, and will continue fighting, because housing is a human right!

Hillside Villa was built with public funds and should remain a public benefit! Keep our families off the street!

It’s time to reverse the ugly history of eminent domain and use it to protect tenants and prevent more families from becoming homeless. We are inspired by Moms 4 Housing in Oakland, who took radical action to protect their families from homelessness. And like the Moms, we too are fighting for all tenants across California and the nation.

The city must treat this as the emergency it is.


Before COVID-19, tenants were already facing landlord harassment that has been financially burdensome. The pandemic only makes things harder, many faced with hospital bills and evictions and loss of work as a result. To contribute to our efforts and support the Hillside Villa tenants you can donate here: 

This campaign has been supported by:

  • Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment Los Angeles (ACCE LA)
  • Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance Los Angeles Chapter  (APALA LA)
  • Crenshaw Subway Coalition
  • Democratic Socialists of America, Los Angeles
  • Eviction Defense Network
  • Council Member Carroll Fife, City of Oakland
  • Ground Game LA
  • Housing Rights Committee San Francisco
  • Indivisible CA-43
  • Inquilinos Unidos
  • Khmer Girls in Action
  • Ktown for All
  • Los Angeles Center for Community Law and Action (LACCLA)
  • Little Tokyo Service Center
  • Los Angeles Community Action Network LACAN
  • Pasadena Tenants Union
  • NOlympics LA
  • People's City Council
  • Progressive Asian Network for Action (PANA)
  • Ananya Roy, Professor of Urban Planning, Social Welfare, and Geography, UCLA
  • Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE)
  • Tenants Law Association at UCLA
  • UAW 2865
  • Union De Vecinos LATU Eastside Local
  • VyBe LATU
  • Westside Local Chapter LATU
1,758 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!