September 12, 2017

Mariachi musicians fighting to keep homes they’ve lived in for decades


By: Zohreen Adamjee

 – Fourth generation mariachi musicians like Luis Valdivia played in the middle of Hollywood Blvd Tuesday … to protest, hoping their landlord, who they believe lives near Hollywood and Vine, could hear them.

“I’ve been living there 21 years,” said Valdivia.

The residents of an apartment complex one block from Mariachi Plaza say rent recently jumped eighty percent from a thousand dollars to around 18 hundred for one bedroom.

It follows the trend facing many renters.

According the real estate website Zillow, median rent for all L.A. homes jumped from around 22 hundred dollars to 28 hundred in the past 7 year.

The mariachis building was not rent controlled – that’s something they they’re fighting for now too.

We tried contacting the owner multiples times

Elizabeth Blaney with the LA renters union telling us, he refused to negotiate with them.

“BJ Turner …. has refused to meet, refused to negotiate. Has refused to explain why he has increased the rent by so much,” said Blaney.

Blaney believes economics isn’t the only issue. She believes race plays a role.

“We have our own testors who’ve gone in and applied to some vacant units and what we’ve found is that people who are Latino with good credit and a white person who has applied…they’ve gone with the white person,” said Blaney.

Now this community fearing culture will be forced out of the neighborhood just as they will be if they can’t fight the rent increase. ..

The reason people came out today…is because the owner has a court date with them tomorrow since they haven’t been paying the increased rent.

They hope to be able to talk to him before.