5C students rally behind Claremont residents facing eviction at Claremont City Council

Inclusive Claremont members attend the Tuesday Claremont City Council meeting to stand in solidarity with Monarch Terrace residents. (Courtesy of Gwen Tucker)

5C student members of Inclusive Claremont attended a Claremont City Council meeting Tuesday evening, leading up to a Oct. 25 vote on whether to approve an ordinance that would ban “renoviction” — a forced eviction for renovation purposes — for six months.

Dozens of Claremont residents face imminent eviction, through a loophole in tenant protection law which prompted a vote Tuesday evening to draft the ordinance.

If Claremont fails to pass legislation closing this eviction loophole, then the 30 residents of the Monarch Terrace apartment complex will be forced to move out of their homes by the new year, when Los Angeles County’s COVID-19 Tenant Protections Resolution expires.

Tenants are protected from eviction without “just cause” by the Tenant Protection Act of 2019 Assembly Bill 1482. However, a loophole in the law allows for a landlord to evict tenants in order to “demolish or substantially remodel” a rental unit.

Members of Inclusive Claremont, a coalition of 5C students and community members advocating for affordable housing, attended the meeting in a show of solidarity for the Monarch Terrace residents.

The organization also presented a petition with over 300 signatures from students, staff, faculty and alumni of the Claremont Colleges supporting stronger tenant protections, according to Gwen Tucker SC ‘25, a lead student organizer for Inclusive Claremont

“I think Claremont is seen as the city of trees and PhDs like it’s a place of mostly white, upper middle to upper class academics,” Tucker said. “And that doesn’t include, for example, the 33 percent of people who rent in the city.”

Last July, residents of Monarch Terrace apartments were offered $7,000 plus a security deposit in cash if they agreed to move out in 30-60 days, according to the Claremont Courier.

Many of the residents who have lived at Monarch Terrace for years were shocked at the prospect of having to find a new home, especially since Monarch Terrace apartments were rented at below market rates, the Courier reported.

“As a tight-knit community, we are working together to look for a solution before we become unhoused,” Monarch Terrace resident Lydia Hernandez told the Courier. “We need to close this loophole like other cities have.”

The “renoviction” loophole also allows landlords to raise rent substantially on the remodeled units through bypassing annual rent increase limits of either 5 percent increases on top of local inflation rate or 10 percent increases, whichever yields a lower limit.

Monarch Terrace was sold in April 2021 to Revere Investments, a company focused on the “acquisition and investment management of multifamily properties in Southern California,” according to its website.

In August, a remodeled apartment at Monarch Terrace was listed on Zillow at double the current rent, reported the Courier. The listing has since been removed.

“Evicting people and raising the rent by this much is getting rid of naturally occurring affordable housing,” Tucker said. “As you’ve seen with the Larkin Place stuff, it’s really, really hard to build new housing in Claremont.”

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