Living in a home that is falling apart

MacArthur Park/Westlake is a renter’s market. The area is attractive to immigrants because it’s the cheapest place to live in Los Angeles. With new developments just a few blocks downtown, landowners are taking advantage of the market and raising rents. Families are forced to pay extra money, move in with other families or return to their home countries.

Some property owners know their tenants can’t afford an apartment in a different Los Angeles neighborhood, so they refuse to make apartment upgrades.

Despite the deteriorating building, the managers expect the same monthly check and threaten their tenants with raised rents if something is reported broken.

“You have a lot of landowners that aren’t in the state, and some that aren’t even in the country, that hire management companies to operate the apartments,” said Brian of Collective Space, a local non-profit that educates tenants of their rights. ”Often times you’re trying to get something fixed and the blame is shifted from land owner to manager and spun around and nothing ever happens.”

With nowhere else to go, the family is forced to accept the living conditions.

We visit one woman and her family’s apartment that needs some major upgrades. She reached out to Collective Space to track down her apartment manager, who has been absent when it comes to fixing things.

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