Local retirement home residents no longer face eviction for renovations
(Wesley Hardin/Daily Bruin)
Feb. 17, 2017 7:18 p.m.
More than 100 residents at a Westwood retirement home will no longer have to leave the building, according to a letter released Friday.
Watermark Retirement Communities told its residents in the letter they will be able to stay in their unit while the building undergoes an extensive renovation. The company originally argued the construction would make it inconvenient and unsafe for residents to stay in the building.
The renovation includes replacing electric wiring and plumbing and making the building seismically safe. Jill Hofer, spokesperson for Watermark Retirement Communities, said in January the renovations are necessary so the building can become a regulated health care center. This would allow the company to provide new services such as assisted living and memory care.
The letter also stated people who leave during the construction can come back to their units and pay the same rent. Watermark Retirement Communities will pay relocation fees for residents that leave the building prior to Nov. 28.
Additionally, the building will continue to be under rent control after renovation is complete, meaning the building’s rent can only increase 4 percent per year, according to the letter.
Los Angeles City councilmember Paul Koretz, who represents Westwood and the surrounding areas, has been vocal against the eviction notices handed to residents. On Feb. 7, Koretz introduced a motion to determine whether the building should be designated a residential hotel, which would nullify the evictions and require an alternative to renovations.
Allison Marty, executive director for Watermark Retirement Communities, said in the letter if the city were to designate the building as a residential hotel, it would make it difficult for the company to convert the building into a regulated health care facility.