Los Angeles City Council members are considering an aggressive new plan for preserving affordable housing: Taking over apartment buildings using eminent domain.
Councilman Gil Cedillo introduced a motion on Friday to explore the possibility of seizing Hillside Villa, a 124-unit affordable housing development in Chinatown. The building was constructed more than three decades ago under a covenant to keep rents affordable for 30 years. After that period of time, the property owner would be legally allowed to raise rents to market rate. The Hillside covenant is set to expire later this year. Tenants have been organizing to keep rents in the building from spiking.
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Glenn Block, principal of California Eminent Domain Law Group, a Glendale-based law firm that represents both public agencies and property/business owners in eminent domain issues
Jim Burling, vice president of legal affairs at the Pacific Legal Foundation, a national nonprofit legal organization