Chesapeake Apartments Residents Will Protest at the Los Angeles Housing Department Offices – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

Chesapeake Apartments Residents Will Protest at the Los Angeles Housing Department Offices

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Demanding Housing Officials Immediately Remove Slumlord PAMA Properties and its President, Mike Nijjar, from Managing the Complex

Frustrated by the Los Angeles Housing Department’s (LAHD) decision not to place the Chesapeake Apartment complex into the Rent Escrow Account Program (REAP), residents held a protest and press conference at LAHD’s offices on Friday to call out the department’s failure to hold the complex’s owner, billionaire slumlord Mike Nijjar, accountable for its dilapidated and unsafe conditions.

Despite dozens of testimonials from Chesapeake tenants describing ongoing habitability problems, and Nijjar and his company, PAMA V Properties’ deficient repairs, LAHD still cleared Nijjar and PAMA of hundreds of code violations. At Friday’s press conference, Chesapeake residents told their stories and held banners and photographs of the deplorable conditions they’ve been living with for years.

The protest was held on December 2 at 10:30 AM at the Los Angeles Housing Department (1200 W. 7th Street, Los Angeles 90017).

LAHD made the decision not to put the 425-unit Chesapeake into the Rent Escrow Account Program (REAP), after a 6-hour hearing held on Oct. 24. REAP is aimed at forcing improvements in rental properties with numerous unresolved code violations and allows tenants who have been overcharged to pay reduced rent. ACCE learned that LAHD, without notifying residents, cleared Nijjar and PAMA of 1,500 code violations before the hearing was even hero.

Some residents are considering appealing the decision. The complex had been placed into REAP once before less than a decade ago, according to ACCE tenant leader and Chesapeake resident, Zerita Jones.

For years, Chesapeake tenants have complained of broken pipes spewing raw sewage into the building, vermin, toxic black mold and faulty heaters causing a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Conditions at the property are so deplorable that some tenants have been hospitalized and have developed chronic respiratory conditions. Additionally, tenants have endured harassment and threats of eviction from the building’s management for submitting complaints to LAHD, speaking to media outlets, and organizing to demand action.

City and county agencies, after conducting a historic building-wide inspection due to unrelenting pressure from Chesapeake tenants and organizing ACCE, found more than 2,000 code violations, including structural deficiencies and lead exposure. Despite what LAHD maintainers, Chesapeake tenants are still dealing with the adverse health consequences of PAMA’s failure to address these violations in the allotted time, and their blatant harassment and neglect of tenants’ welfare during and after the repairs that did occur. They are demanding that county Public Health officials, LAHD and the City Attorney immediately put sanctions on PAMA and Nijjar.

You can go to ACCE’s Facebook page to see a live stream of the protest.

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