Controversial landlord wants to buy six more problematic properties in Skid Row

(Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times)

Controversial landlord wants to buy six more problematic properties in Skid Row

California Politics

Liam Dillon

April 16, 2024

Half a dozen

homeless housing

properties owned by a failed Skid Row landlord to be sold to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the

court ordered

receiver etc


said seeing the buildings, despite the Hollywood-based nonprofit foundation’s problematic history of operating low-income housing.


foundationHollywood-based nonprofit organization

has agreed to pay $27 million for six properties owned by the Skid Row Housing Trust, which filed for financial bankruptcy last year. Under the deal, the foundation will continue to operate the buildings, half of which are one-room hotels and the other half high-efficiency apartments, as permanent housing for formerly homeless residents.

The foundation had the highest bid for the properties and the sale is in the best interests of all parties, including tenants and creditors.


Kevin Singer, founder and president of Curatorship Specialists,


in a document filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

The purchase, which could be completed as early as next month, would do just that


the fundamentals accelerate rapid growth as one

homeless housing


for formerly homeless people

. The foundation

has a turnover of

$2 billion per year

in turnover

largely from its network of pharmacies. It has been since 2017


purchased 16 properties with approximately 1,500 units in and around Skid Row.


half a dozen

Skid Row Housing Trust is building the Boyd, Hart and St. George single-room hotels and would add the Lincoln, New Carver and Rainbow apartments


415 units to the foundation portfolio.

The foundation

has touted that it is said to be the case

to address chronic homelessness where public agencies, the private market and other nonprofits have failed, increasing building occupancy rates by nearly 200% and laying off nearly 1,000 people


streets and permanent housing.

But the fundamentals


buildings are occupied by heating, plumbing, elevator and electrical failures and mining infestations. In some cases,

the buildings have been seen

a rise in tenant complaints and crime after the foundation took them over, The Times found in an investigation published in the latest case.

These issues prompted the Department of Housing and Community Development to send a letter to the recipient last month stating that the foundation would not be a suitable owner and operator for the trust buildings. A spokesperson for the department told The Times on Monday that concerns about the foundation’s potential ownership remain.

The Los Angeles City Council will discuss the receivership in a closed session





The proposed sale

to the foundation

comes as Singer and city officials try to wind down the year-old receivership that began when the trust, once considered a national model for housing formerly homeless residents, declared in February 2023 that it could no longer pay its bills and sell its 29 buildings and 1,500 tenants.

The receiver

already sent

has spun off 11 of the trusts newer and better maintained properties


more established nonprofit affordable housing providers LA Family Housing and People Assisting the Homeless, or PATH

and hopes to transfer one more

. Singer posted the rest


Trust buildings, many of which are older hotels with single rooms without private bathrooms, are up for sale.

In addition to the trust, numerous other owners of hotels with single rooms,

which are

Seen as a last resort for the most vulnerable cities, they have suffered in recent years from low government subsidies and a tenant population struggling with mental health and addiction issues that has been prioritized for permanent housing.

Last fall town


Officials came up with a plan for the local housing authority to take control of the remaining trust properties and operate them until they could be turned over to developers who would demolish them and rebuild them into efficient apartments for homeless residents.

But that proposal has failed amid mounting pressure on city and state budgets. The focus instead shifted to saving the buildings and potentially recovering some of the nearly $40 million in funding the city approved for the receivership.

In Monday’s court filings, Singer said three other bidders, whom he declined to name, had made substantive bids for the trust portfolio. But those offers were lower than that

AIDS Healthcare Foundation Foundation

or involved complicated financing

which he believed was not viable. He didn’t believe it was viable.

Of the foundation’s $27 million bid, $5 million would fund ongoing repairs to the six buildings, and $10 million would repay some of the city’s debt.

;, of

the rest

would go

toward continued receivership operations to the remaining properties


Singer said he continues to negotiate with two other bidders to purchase





Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff, who had been responsible for the receivership case, retired


this month. Singer asks Beckloff’s replacement, Stephen Goorvitch, for a hearing to approve sale of company


buildings on the foundation no later than May 10.

Without an influx of cash, Singer wrote in his filings, the recipient will run out of money in May.

An important topic in the negotiations with the foundation was the availability of social facilities for tenants. Residents of trust buildings are entitled to case management, mental health care and other services as part of their voucher programs. But the foundation does not offer any services

of his own

in many of his


buildings, stating the costs



The purchase and sale agreement requires the foundation to maintain a third-party property management company for up to six months and agree to have an ongoing responsibility to provide unspecified social services to tenants. Ultimately, the agreement states, the foundation plans to operate and manage the properties with its own staff. The agreement also calls for a two-year moratorium on enforcing code violations


be present at the properties at the time of the sale, so that the foundation can continue the repair work without penalty.

A spokesperson for the foundation declined to provide details about the nonprofit’s social services plans for the buildings


answer other written questions from The Times.

Clara Karger, spokesperson for Mayor Karen Bass, said the city has emphasized to the receiver that any future owner and operator of trust buildings must ensure that tenants receive comprehensive social services.

“It is paramount that the selected buyer commits to long-term affordability covenants and provides property management services that meet both the needs of vulnerable residents and the maintenance and investments required to manage these buildings,” Karger said . “The city has stated clear expectations that services will be provided on-site at all buildings.”

Monday’s agreement comes as municipal supervisors and the courts do

control creates more control


AIDS Healthcare Foundation Foundation

housing activities.

Later this week,


The city of Los Angeles

Ethics Committee

this week

is scheduled to discuss leveling $22,250 in fines against the foundation and one of its top housing organizers, Susie Shannon, for

with them

failure to record and report their lobbying work by 2023, according to proposed settlement agreements between

the parties.Shannon, the foundation and the committee.

Shannon lobbied city officials on behalf of the foundation on various affordable housing issues without publicly disclosing her actions as required by city law, the settlements allege. A spokesperson for the foundation said Shannon did not lobby for the trust recipientship.


The foundation faces at least 10 lawsuits in state and federal courts over conditions in its buildings, including class-action suits detailing the habitability of single-occupancy rooms on Skid Row in Baltimore and Madison.


This month it won $1.5 million in damages in a default judgment against the Madison’s former owner Kameron Segal after the foundation alleged

Segal that he

did not disclose the condition of the five-story buildings with the chronically broken elevator prior to the sale in September 2017. It is unclear whether the foundation can collect the debt from Segal, who did not defend himself in the lawsuit and whose companies are in trouble sat. bankruptcy. An attorney for the foundation said in a statement that the decision shows the nonprofit is not responsible for the problems with the building’s elevators, noting that it has spent $600,000 on repairs.

Despite the expenses, Madison’s elevator


suffers from frequent, long-term outages, including as recently as last month. Last year, the foundation agreed to pay $832,000 to 13 residents and undisclosed amounts to four others who sued over the elevator.

In a separate decision this month, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge dismissed parts of the class action suit against the Madison foundation. But he noted that any reduction in the agreed-upon rent is likely due to tenants as restitution for alleged plumbing work




unsanitary conditions and other disturbances in shared areas of the building.

Just because the tenants lived in subsidized housing at a below-market rent does not mean they were obligated to pay the full agreed-upon rent if there were material deficiencies in the condition of the common area or other deficiencies, Judge William Highberger wrote in the pronunciation.

Times staff writer Doug Smith contributed to this story.


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