West LA residents are facing the daunting task of finding new homes as Barrington Plaza, an apartment complex with a troubled history of fires, initiates a massive eviction.
The property’s landlord, Douglas Emmett Inc, has informed city officials that all 712 units will be emptied to facilitate renovation work and safety upgrades, including the installation of fire sprinklers.
This move comes in response to the complex’s past fire incidents, with the most recent one occurring in January 2020 and rendering a section of the building unfit for use.
However, the concerns surrounding the property extend beyond fire safety.
Tenants have raised issues regarding the neglected maintenance of amenities such as elevators, garage doors, and security measures.
Councilwoman Tracy Park has emphasized the urgent need to address these problems, asserting that the building is currently unsafe.
In an effort to support the affected residents, Park introduced a motion to the City Council, advocating for relocation benefits to be provided.
The situation is particularly distressing for long-term residents who have lived in the complex for decades and enjoy rent controls.
These individuals, many of whom are seniors relying on pensions, now find themselves in a state of shock.
Park stresses the importance of ensuring that appropriate financial relocation assistance is offered, along with the aid of relocation specialists provided by the property owner.
The goal is to help these tenants find comparable housing at similar rental rates.
Built in the early 1960s, Barrington Plaza was exempt from regulations mandating the installation of sprinkler systems.
However, starting in September, all residents will be compelled to seek alternative accommodations while the extensive renovations are carried out.
With the projected timeline spanning several years, the abrupt notice period of just 120 days has left many residents grappling with the challenges of securing suitable housing within a limited timeframe.
As the story unfolds, further updates will be reported live, highlighting the ongoing struggles faced by the displaced tenants of Barrington Plaza.