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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Amid legal battle, Van Nuys landlord won’t increase rents for low-income tenants

There are 78 units in the 390-unit complex currently set aside as affordable
August 24, 2018 01:00PM

City Attorney Mike Feuer and the complex

The owners of a multifamily apartment complex in Van Nuys have agreed to stop hiking up rents for low-income tenants, putting an end to a year-long legal dispute.

As part of the settlement, the owners of the San Regis Apartment Complex on Sherman Way will maintain rents at an affordable level for 78 units for the next 55 years, the Daily News reported.

In 2016, the current owners — a pair of public pension funds in Colorado and Utah —

attempted to get out of an affordable housing mandate that was issued in 2001, before they purchased the property. The previous owner had agreed to include affordable units in the 390-unit complex in exchange for receiving a $24 million tax-exempt bond to refurbish the property.

San Regis LLC, which included Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association and the Utah State Retirement Investment Fund as investors, then sued the city and California to get out of the 2001 agreement. In the lawsuit, they argued that they had paid off the bond when they purchased the building, and thus should be allowed to bring the units up to market rate.

State Treasurer John Chiang and the Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer counter-sued in order to retain the affordable units. In a statement, Feuer said the settlement was reached “without any further cost to city taxpayers.”

L.A. has been battling an affordable housing problem. Much of the affordability issues stem from a severe lack of housing, both locally and statewide. A report conducted over 15 years by consulting firm ECONorthwest found that California is short by 3.4 million units, accounting for more than half of the 7.3-million-unit shortage nationwide. [LADN] –Natalie Hoberman