Finding affordable housing and dealing with the eviction of long-term senior tenants are among the most difficult problems currently affecting elders and senior centers in the Los Angeles area. Several elements contribute to the current housing crisis for seniors:
A senior on a fixed income faces great difficulties in finding safe and affordable housing or in relocating after an eviction. Subsidized housing and federal programs are increasingly challenging to secure and often involve a long waiting list.
The Housing Authority is a federally-funded agency that administers public housing, Section 8, and affordable housing units in the city for qualified low-income families, the disabled and seniors. All housing is provided on a waiting list only. No emergency housing is available. Many of the public housing developments have on-site services such as childcare, computer learning centers, community service centers and recreational facilities.
The Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles (HACoLA) provides various service programs including rent subsidies for
low-income residents, seniors and disabled. There is a very long waiting
list for some programs.
For more information about programs and contact information, please see the HACoLA Website.
A list of Assisted Housing in Los Angeles County is available on the Internet from the HUD website.
The HUD Los Angeles Web site has a special section for seniors.
The HUD Los Angeles Web site offers more comprehensive information about HUD programs including:
HUD Los Angeles office
For more information, please visit the HUD Web site.
If you are threatened with eviction, ask for help immediately since time is of the essence and you could lose many rights by waiting even a few days.
In Los Angeles, the law prevents landlords from raising rents more than 3% per year until a tenant moves out. The law also allows landlords to evict tenants in order to make repairs of $10,000 or more per unit (with some notice and a relocation fee). It has become increasingly profitable for landlords to consider this option to replace long-term tenants with low rents. Some parts of the city are being "gentrified" and eviction of seniors is epidemic. A moratorium affecting these evictions is in place since July 2002. For more details, please see this City of Los Angeles Rent Stabilization bulletin.
When a landlord stops participating in a federally subsidized housing program, a senior who has relied for years on federal rent voucher must pay the full rent amount or move out.
We are seeing an increasing number of cases where seniors are being evicted through no fault of their own in an attempt to bring rents to market rates.
If you receive a notice, get help immediately to protect your rights:
A senior who is evicted often has nowhere else to go and becoming homeless is a real fear. A frail elder who has been a model tenant for 30 years, paid the rent on time and never caused trouble can within a few short weeks be out of his or her home.
Often, the senior can no longer afford to stay in the same neighborhood where a support system enabled him or her to live independently. This is a terrifying situation for a strong and competent senior. Without intervention and assistance, a disabled senior may become homeless.
A physically or mentally disabled senior may not be able to use a referral. If you are aware of a frail senior who might become homeless, you are his or her lifeline:
The housing crisis for people with disabilities in Southern
California is worsening daily as demand pressures increase and landlords
raise rents and option out of federally subsidized programs. Finding
affordable and accessible housing is one of the greatest obstacles to
independent living for people with significant disabilities. A recent
report by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Housing Task Force
found that the average cost for an efficiency apartment in Los Angeles was
100% of the current SSI income. LA City's Department on Disability
estimates that only 3% of the rental housing stock in the entire city is
accessible. There is currently no way for people to register or apply
for housing programs online or even to locate housing that meets their
accessibility needs. LILA has begun mapping those resources,
including accessible shelters, SROs and short-term housing and is working
with the Los Angeles Housing Department to gather data on accessible,
affordable rental housing in the City of Los Angeles, which will be
included on the LILA web site when it is available.
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