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42 People Kicked Out of Moldy, Windowless Apartment Building

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Residents of a disgusting apartment building on Hoover and Fifty-Seventh Streets in South LA are being forced out super-quick because the city apparently took its sweet time looking into just how awful and dangerous the place is. In exchange for up to $600 a month for a room in the "converted" commercial building, 42 renters were exposed to mold and water damage from a leaky hot water heater; some "apartments" have no windows, others have boarded-up windows, there are only three showers in the whole building, and many of the window locks are broken, says the LA Times. (The structure's currently being checked hourly to make sure that there aren't any fire hazards.) A complaint was first filed six months ago, but the city waited until March 20 to issue a notice, and that wasn't even posted on the property until March 27, giving the tenants just eight days to find a new place to live, according to a legal services group helping the ousted renters. And obviously these are not people who have a lot of options.

Councilmember Curren Price has asked the LA Fire Department to allow residents an extra two weeks to find housing. LA tenants who are forced to move out of their rented homes for a month or more qualify for relocation aid for up to $19,000, which the city gets from the offending property's owner, "through a lien if necessary." Most of these tenants are expected to qualify for the full amount, but the City Council will have to approve the deal.
· South L.A. tenants forced to vacate building on short notice [LAT]