Tenants facing eviction from affordable housing complex stage protest

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Brian Watt/KPCC

28-year-old Michelle Hawthorne likes her independence at the Regency Court apartments.

Tenants who may lose their homes at the Regency Court Apartments in Monrovia protested today outside the apartment complex. KPCC’s Brian Watt reports.

Brian Watt: For 14 years, the Regency Court Apartments have offered subsidized housing to seniors and people with mental and physical disabilities. The owner recently sent lease termination notices to twenty tenants who are younger than 62.

Twenty-eight-year-old Michelle Hawthorne is one of them. Her father Richard tried to tell reporters how well his daughter with Down Syndrome lives in her own one-bedroom apartment.

Richard Hawthorne: This is such a vital place for her–
Michelle Hawthorne (interrupting): Dad, let me do it!
Richard Hawthorne: “Let me do it,” she says. Let me have her tell you what she likes about this place. What’s important to you, Michelle?
Michelle Hawthorne: About the safety.
Richard Hawthorne: What else do you enjoy about being here?
Michelle Hawthorne: I like being with my friends and I feel supportive of them.

Watt: Michelle Hawthorne works one day a week at a nearby clothing store, and rides the bus to volunteer at the library.

Michelle Hawthorne: And I love my independence here.

Watt: But Regency Court’s owner, Star Holdings of Illinois, has told the tenants that to comply with state and federal housing and tax laws, all renters at Regency Court must be 62 or older. A Monrovia attorney is representing Michelle Hawthorne and the other tenants who might have to move.

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