Detroit Bungalows Residents Push Back Against Demolition Plans

The Detroit Bungalows
The Detroit Bungalows
Some residents of the Detroit Bungalows are mounting a campaign to prevent the 1920s era buildings from being demolished and replaced by a larger building that will house low-income and other disadvantaged people.

The group launched a Facebook page called “Save the Detroit Bungalows” this week. Dr. Love, a resident of the 10-unit complex, is an organizer of the campaign. (Dr. Love declines to reveal her first name, preferring to be referred to as “Dr. Love.”) Dr. Love said she also is reaching out to members of the West Hollywood City Council and historic preservation advocates.

The Detroit Bunglows now is owned and managed by the West Hollywood Community Housing Corp., a non-profit organization that builds and rehabilitates housing for low-income and other disadvantaged people WHCHC currently has 17 apartment complexes with 341 units in West Hollywood, Glendale and Los Angeles.

With the help of a $1 million loan from the City of West Hollywood, WHCHC recently purchased the property next door at 1123 and 1127 N. Detroit St. with the intention of combining it with the Detroit Bungalows site. Robin Conerly, WHCHC’s executive director, said the organization hopes to build a 22-unit building for people living with HIV, homeless young people, the mentally ill and those with other special needs. Conerly said WHCHC hopes to engage the L.A. LGBT Center to help provide services to the tenants.

Dr. Love said that she and other residents object to plans to demolish the Detroit Bungalows. Love cited the charm of the units, which WHCHC acquired and renovated in 1989. She said the residents, who qualify for residency because of their low incomes, also like having their own outdoor space.

for what is called the “Blue Hibiscus” project. The City of West Hollywood recently made a loan of $1 million to that fund to enable WHCHC to With that $1.24 million purchase, expected to close in December, the Affordable Housing Trust Fund will be empty according to a report prepared by WHCHC.

But Conerly said WHCHC has been “struggling with the bungalows because it’s a very old building… It was originally farm worker housing for thosee picking either oranges or avocados. They are small units, about 400 feet each,” she said. Conerly said cost estimates for upgrading the existing bungalows received a few years ago ranged from $500,000 to $1 million, and still wouldn’t bring the units into compliance with city codes.

Conerly said WHCHC is looking for additional financing for the project and hasn’t made any firm plans as of yet. ” Our biggest focus now is taking care of the people on the site now,” she said. “There will be a generous benefits package (for those who might be forced to move because of construction), and I think they can all come back and live in the same building. Conerly said WHCHC representatives intend to meet with Detroit Bungalow residents and discuss their plans.


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Michael Sprague
Guest

This is concerning to me. Will there be an opportunity for public comment to the City of West Hollywood about this project? It seems to me, if what I read on Facebook is true, that a contract exists between at least one long time resident and the city, in the form of a letter signed by a former mayor, that seems to exclude the possibility of evicting at least him, and presumably anyone there atm, without making accommodations for them elsewhere, of equal or better quality and at at equal or lesser cost. But then, I believe in fairness and… Read more »

Dr Love
Guest
Dr Love

I happy to say another wonderful candidate came to the Detroit Bungalows for support. Ms Lauren Meister. We thank you for your time Lauren. And we welcome other candidates to stop by as well to see the Detroit Bungalows personally. Also for those interested according to WHCHC’s 990 of 2013, combined employee salaries exceeded $1,000,000. https://www.whchc.org/…/financial-infor… WHCHC IRS Form 990 12-31-2013 Page 7 lines 10,11,12 are as follows: Robin Conerly …..,……$139,997 +$10,933 for other compensation Rosemary Olson ……..$133,467 +$ 5,333 for other compensation Jesse Slansky………….$106,878+ $ 5,103 for other compensation Page 10 line 7 states: Other salaries &wages….$881,042 Total is… Read more »

John Allendorfer
Guest
John Allendorfer

I want graciously to thank Dr. Love for giving me time this afternoon to view the Detroit Bungalows and express her views on her above mentioned residence. I found her bungalow both on the outside and inside to be very pleasant looking and not in need of major repairs but I am not an expert on such matters. She also showed me around and introduced me to a couple of neighbors. I gather from her perspective that to tear down what are nice living arrangements for 8 households now. doesn’t make sense to build a total of 22 units on… Read more »

Stephanie
Guest
Stephanie

I recently heard that the Housing Corporation was sending an attorney to the residents to “negotiation a deal” with them. If this is, in fact, true, then the residents need an attorney to protect them as well. Anything short of staying in their homes or a PERMANENT and financially equal living situation would be an egregious and unconscionable move on the part of WHCHC. Most of the residents of the courtyard are in need of some extra help from the community. To treat them differently or to treat them as if they should be grateful for anything they get is… Read more »

Dr Love
Guest
Dr Love

Sent from my MetroPCS 4G Android device —— Original message—— From: business in area Date: Sun, 1/11/2015 11:28 AM To: jdamico@weho.org;Jheilman@weho.org;Jduran@weho.org;Aland@weho.org;Jprang@weho.org;Rmendez@enterprisecommunity.org;Madeleine.rackley@lacity.org;Marnold@Lhasa.org;Karl.lott@hklaw.com;Pnoonan@weho.org;Kenneth.sofge@wellsfargo.com;Pspillane@idsrealestategroup.com;Robin@whchc.org;Jesse@whchc.org;Danny@whchc.org;Sue@whchc.org;Ted@whchc.org; Subject:Detriot Bungalows Dear All: We are extremely upset at the notion of demolishing the Detroit Bungalows in favor of building affordable housing in its place. You see, the people who reside in these bungalows are disabled, Seniors,Veterans, Autistic, are afflicted with HIV/AIDS and HEP C, not to mention that some have lived there for 40 years. At least three residents have in-home care, and one has a life alert system. To disrupt these folks and force them out is… Read more »

A resident who votes
Guest

So we’ve heard from Council candidates Lauren Meister and Larry Block on this crisis – what do the current Council and candidates think?

Where are our leaders, and wanna-be leaders? What say you on this crisis?

John D’amico
John Heilman
John Durran
Abby Land
John Allendorfer
Brian Funnagan
Joseph Guardarrama
Lindsey Horvath
Christopher T. Landavazo
James Duke Mason
Matthew Ralston
Tristan Schukraft

(And what’s your opinion on using over-development to keep broke agencies and city governments afloat?)

Very Concerned Citizen
Guest
Very Concerned Citizen

Yes, I would love to hear from ALL the candidates, including the two who will be running in June for Jeffrey Prang’s seat: Heidi Shink and Cole Ettman….What is happening at the Detroit bungalows might very well be the tip of the iceberg in what is NOT RIGHT at WHCHC. Is this the first time that they are evicting their tenants? the very people for whom their mission statement is supposed to protect? Now that the cat has been let out of the bag, so to speak, what about the FACT that WHCHC is planning on allowing AT&T (for a… Read more »

Dr Love
Guest
Dr Love

I sent this Wehoville comment page this morning to the emails of every running candidate, Mayor D’Amico who responded, John Heilman, and the board of directors and staff of WHCHC. So hopefully more will weigh in.

LAUREN MEISTER
Guest
LAUREN MEISTER

This is less about historic preservation and more about saving our existing affordable housing stock — particularly, affordable housing that was created specifically for people who really need it.

Our city and WHCHC need to set an example for “Aging in Place” and allow the residents of the Detroit Bungalows to do just that, in their homes that they expected to be in for the rest of their lives.

WHCHC, don’t claim to provide affordable housing and then kick out the residents who counted on you for their affordable housing. It’s just plain wrong.

Dr Love
Guest
Dr Love

Thank you Ms Meister. Mr. Block has brought some excellent statements on this subject as well. I would like the other candidates to voice their opinion on this and the Council members who are already in office should express their plans for this growing problem. There are so many affordable housing units in West Hollywood and still more to come. We have residents within our 8 bungalows that have partisipated in West Hollywood elections since the city was Incorporated. To force them out of West Hollywood by bulldozing their home and than replace them with people who have never lived… Read more »

Larry Block
Guest

What is unacceptable is a city that touts ‘aging in place’ and then evicts poor and disabled persons. What is unacceptable is a city that touts aging in place as it’s core values as well as rent stabilization and tenant rights but a senior or disabled person living on a second floor unit cannot have an option to move to a first floor unit if available.. — (an idea I proposed to rent stabilization and coming up on a future agenda, with a mechanism to be cost effective for the landlord and help the tenant).. — A city that brags… Read more »

Dr Love
Guest
Dr Love

Brilliant Mr. Block! Thank you. Its simple but by the time WHCHC is through with it there develops a smoke screen of confusion. What are they hiding? Here are the facts: We are 11 residents in 8 bungalows. We are: Disabled Seniors Vetrans Autistic HIV/AIDS HEP C Some have lived here for 40 years! 3 have in home care 1 has a life alert system. We are low income and feeble. THERE IS NO RELOCATION TO ANOTHER BUILDING MADE AVAILABLE TO US. Yet, WHCHC wants to take down 8 bungalows to build a 22 unit complex. They have said the… Read more »

v Wolf
Guest
v Wolf

This is just outrageous! WHCHC, leave well enough alone! The residents of the Detroit Bungalows deserve to remain where they are—to disrupt their daily lives and home lives would be an absolute crime. It makes me shudder to think that an agency like WHCHC who supposedly is an advocate for the less fortunate citizens turning its back on these people in favor of greed. Shameful.

Dr Love
Guest
Dr Love

To my suprise Mr. John Allendorfer just knocked on my door! He came out to see the Detroit Bungalows for himself and on a Sunday. He was very gracious and listened to several of the residents. He looked at the property and inside a bungalow to see if the outrageous claims that the Bungalows are in shambles was true. He was suprised how nice everything looked. He took time to see our organic garden and wildlife sanctuary. Than Mr. Allendorfer walked next door with me to see the old house and aparyment that WHCHC just bought to demolish as well.… Read more »

Dr Love
Guest
Dr Love

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-the-Detroit-Bungalows/849951181723155   To Movie Industry Businesses, Neighborhood Councils, Neighborhood Watch Groups, Neighbors in the SMBL/LABREA area, and to Preservation Activists, LACurbed, LA Times and WeHoville,   Please make the time to review the attached Facebook page and map. The comprehensive slide show with detailed information shows the Old Hollywood Movie Industry Nostalgia this area is saturated with. However, before every shred of the historic past is bulldozed to the ground, we need to voice our concerns or complaints to the decision makers behind this crusade to turn our area into high rise apartment complexes and impersonal corporate buildings. We… Read more »

Dr Love
Guest
Dr Love

The bungalows were completely renovated, new plumming and electrical. WHCHC has become motivated by money no matter what they say. Whether you think the Bungalows arecharming or not, you have to ask yourself, do you want one large modern complex next to the other without any break in the typical box style buildings? There is something sinister at the heart of this. I have repeatedly emailed the Mayor and called his secretary without even an automated response. We, the tenants were the last to know. For those who want to voice a concern or complaint please go to the Facebook… Read more »

Very Concerned Citizen
Guest
Very Concerned Citizen

Honestly I am appalled by the idea that WHCHC makes light of actually evicting the very people they are SUPPOSED to be helping. If these buildings need so much repair and are not up to code, under who’s leadership were they allowed to get this way? Also, what guarantee do any of the existing tenants have that they will be eligible to move back in, given the facts in the above article stated by Robin Conerly, the executive director of WHCHC: that the 22 new units will be for “people living with HIV, homeless young people, the mentally ill and… Read more »

Kathy
Guest

The story is evolving – now the residents are being told by WHCHC that the housing will be for homeless youth not senior/disabled low income housing. -Didn’t they just build youth housing in the area on La Brea?- They say the residents can return but- is it legal for seniors and adults to live in youth housing? And now WHCHC says the residents will not get help with relocation. But they will receive some kind of monetary compensation. All are long-term residents, some have been there for almost 40 years. All of them are senior and/or sick/disabled. The residents have… Read more »