Ramona Sierra, 90, and Suzanna Bermudez, 65, went to City Hall on Wednesday to ask for help to avoid being evicted from their bungalows in Eagle Rock. Photo by: Bill Hendrickson

Elderly Women in Eagle Rock Face Eviction

2019 Editions Featured Front Page June More News

By Bill Hendrickson

Ramona Sierra, 90, and Suzanna Bermudez, 65 and disabled, are on the verge of being evicted from their rent-controlled bungalow homes at 4524 Eagle Rock Boulevard in Eagle Rock. Ramona has lived in her bungalow for 40 years; Suzanna for seven. Neither wants to move, much less out of Eagle Rock. But the owner, Randy Stevenson of Allegro Capital Partners, LLC, plans to renovate and sell their homes and the other three bungalows on the property.  

On Wednesday, Sierra and Bermudez were at City Hall to attend a hearing in the City Planning Department about the owner’s application. Sierra took the bus to City Hall, where she met Bermudez, who had taken the Metro rail.

When it was their turn to speak, Sierra asked the hearing examiner, Courtney Shum, for help. “I am 90 years old,” said Sierra. “Thank you very much. I hope you can help me.”

Shum told the women that there was nothing the City could do to prevent their eviction. She said the City’s hands were tied by the Ellis Act, a state law that allows evictions to occur if an owner/developer meets certain requirements.

One glimmer of hope: At the hearing, Mark Jones, the planning deputy for Eagle Rock’s City Councilmember José Huizar, asked Shum for a 45-day period to study the case. The request was granted.

I was at the hearing. After it was over, I suggested to Sierra and Bermudez that we drop in to José Huizar’s City Hall office to personally ask him for help. Huizar was not in his office because he was attending the City Council’s regular Wednesday meeting, but Martin Schlageter, Huizar’s policy director, met with the women, was empathetic and clear that Council District 14 would do what it could to help them.

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5 thoughts on “Elderly Women in Eagle Rock Face Eviction

  1. Thank you for bringing to light the issue when “capitalism” meets the “social contract”! We can’t support the right to make a buck, but then not have ways to ensure the safety of our most vulnerable citizens.

  2. I wonder if Huizar’s office will do anything. The best that can be hoped for is some relocation assistance. This is how people become homeless. It’s not the fault of the landlord; he wants to use his property the way he wants. A landlord by definition is one who hopes to make money renting out his property. The City of Los Angeles needs to step up and provide those evicted who are elderly and disabled some relocation assistance, which may mean helping with moving costs and first and last month’s rent. Unless, of course, we want to see more people, more vulnerable people, on the streets.

    1. Hi Macron: Thanks for your comment. Part of the problem is money and part is the desire not to move or at least not to have to move out of the neighborhood. These ladies are asking CD-14 to help with both.

  3. The landlord is within his rights to develop his property- it’s his property! The duplexes that are there now are dumpy and the upgrade would improve the appearance of the boulevard. It’s unfortunate that some people will be displaced and hopefully these ladies can find assistance. It is what it is.

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