On Thurs. Feb. 2, nearly 50 senior Westwood Horizon residents took to the streets mid-afternoon, to protest their eviction from their residential community.
With signs taped to their walkers and wheelchairs, they demonstrated in front of their building at 947 Tiverton Avenue. Joined by their families and concerned members of the community, they chanted, ‘Hell no, we won’t go’ and ‘Watermark, Watermark can’t you see – this is where we want to be”.
On Dec. 1, 2016, Watermark Retirement Communities and Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors posted eviction notices on the doors of more than 100 residents in preparation for a major overhaul of the property to transform it into a luxury residential care facility.
The eviction notices, under a state law known as the Ellis Act, gave the elderly residents 120 days to vacate.
Following public pressure, along with major support and pushback from District 5 Councilmember Paul Koretz, Watermark has now delayed the evictions until November 2017. The new notices now fall in line with the state law that requires the residents receive 12 months notice before being evicted.
Allison Marty from Watermark Management who was at the building during the protest told KTLA news upgrades to the building were necessary because the property hadn’t been touched since 1960 and there were “life safety upgrades it needs.” She cited generators a leaking transformer, and the need to upgrade the elevators.
However, for many of the residents, the fight is far from over. Many are Veterans and Holocaust survivors. They are currently circulating an online petition to tell the new building owners – Watermark and Kayne Anderson – to let them stay in the building through renovations.
Resident Edgar L Freedman told KTLA, “Forget the physical problems of packing and unpacking. I’m losing my friends. At this point in my life, outside of here, I maybe have no more than two other friends.”
Click here to sign the petition.