We, the tenants of the LA Grand Project Roomkey Hotel, demand the city follow through with their promise of permanent housing in the face of a rolling mass eviction that began last week and will continue until the hotel closes in January.
As Project Roomkey sites have demobilized throughout the city of Los Angeles, the LA Grand has become a catch-all for PRK tenants who have been evicted from other sites. Now, there are more than 400 of us at the LA Grand facing eviction, and we have nowhere else to go.
According to the city’s “demobilization plan,” there will be up to four evictions a day — 20 a week — ongoing until the end of the year. The first tenants to be evicted will be “participants declining services.”
We accepted a service by entering The Grand. Since arriving, we have sought housing and services, but many of us have been unable to contact case managers or housing navigators to connect us to those services. Even when we are able to access service providers, they often offer nothing but shelter cots in warehouses, where many of us have experienced trauma. No one should be evicted from the Grand on the basis of declining such a “service.” We are not service resistant — the homeless services system is housing resistant!
We have filed grievances to no avail: the Salvation Army has evicted pregnant, disabled, and elderly tenants to the streets, where we face further adversity from the city’s 41.18 “no sit/lie/sleep” law. In a city where five people a day die on the streets, these evictions are a death quota.
The Shenzhen New World Group, which owns the LA Grand, has been charged with bribing corrupt former councilman Jose Huizar to build big luxury towers in downtown. The Grand Hotel’s redevelopment into a 77-story tower is tied to Huizar’s ongoing federal corruption investigation. The folks getting the “handouts” are corporate real estate powers who get their luxury projects financed with millions of our tax dollars. We don’t need to evict hundreds of people so that an international real estate developer can make more profits.
As a collective of tenants at the LA Grand hotel, we demand the following from the city and service providers:
- In light of the Huizar case, we demand that the city work towards claiming eminent domain, or purchase The Grand Hotel to allow us to continue our residency here permanently.
- We demand to be allowed to continue our tenancy at the LA Grand until we have all received and accepted offers of permanent housing.
- We demand that staff at the Grand adhere to the demands laid out by Unhoused Tenants against Carceral Housing (UTACH).
- We demand to be treated with dignity and respect by staff at all times — we are tired of being treated like subhuman prisoners.
- We demand that staff be trained in de-escalation, harm reduction, and trauma informed care.
- We demand an immediate halt to all so-called exits (evictions) from the LA Grand, and that no evictions move forward without documentation and a review panel between the tenant, Salvation Army, and a third party representative of the tenant.
- We demand the rights of tenancy — we are tenants, not participants.
#ClaimTheGrand #BuyTheGrand #Housingisahumanright