AIDS Healthcare Foundation sued over conditions at its Skid Row SRO

Tenants at the 220-unit hotel allege bed bug infestation and widespread mold; nonprofit says city has delayed inspections

Mar.March 09, 2020 01:47 PM
Eric Garcetti andMichael Weinstein, with the Madison Hotel (Credit: Amanda Edwards/Getty Images, Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Aids Healthcare Foundation, and Google Maps)
Eric Garcetti andMichael Weinstein, with the Madison Hotel (Credit: Amanda Edwards/Getty Images, Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Aids Healthcare Foundation, and Google Maps)

Tenants at a 220-unit SRO hotel in Skid Row are suing their landlord, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, alleging roach and bed bug infestation, along with widespread mold.

The suit was filed by tenants at the Madison Hotel at 423 E. 7th St., according to the Los Angeles Times. It also alleges plumbing and electricity problems, and claims the elevator hasn’t worked for nine months, forcing elderly and disabled residents to use the stairs, the Times reported.

AIDS Healthcare CEO Michael Weinstein blamed Los Angeles officials for delaying necessary inspections, saying that “one hundred percent of the responsibility rests with the city and the [Department of Water and Power],” according to the report.

Weinstein added that delays with the elevator also means AHF can’t rent some of the rooms in the building, according to City News Service. The city denied it delayed any inspections.

The Madison Hotel was the first residential property AIDS Healthcare purchased as part of the nonprofit’s move into subsidized housing development. The organization paid $8 million for the property in 2017 with plans to renovate it and rent rooms to low-income residents, with priority given to those with HIV and other illnesses. The organization has invested $2.4 million into renovations at the property.

Since that purchase, AIDS Healthcare has acquired six other residential properties in the L.A. area — all with the same goal of housing homeless or vulnerable populations — and now has nearly 800 units under management. It also operates 64 outpatient healthcare facilities and 48 pharmacies across the country.

In 2018, AHF said it would buy the 204-room Hotel Baltimore at 501 S. Los Angeles Street in order to convert it into a single-room occupancy hotel.

AHF has also initiated several lawsuits in the hopes of derailing controversial projects, including Harridge Development Group’s redevelopment of Crossroads of the World. And GPI Companies’ plan to build a 200-unit tower in Hollywood at Amoeba Records. Both of those suits were unsuccessful. [LAT/City News Service]Dennis Lynch

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