For Immediate Release: February 6, 2023
Assefash Makonnen, ACT, email@example.com,
Anya Svanoe, ACCE firstname.lastname@example.org
K Agbebiyi, PESP, email@example.com,
Tenants Bring Issue of Evictions and UC’s Investments in Blackstone and CIM Group to Regents Meeting, Deliver Eviction Notice to CIM’s Headquarters
Los Angeles, CA: Tenants from Alexandria, VA and San Diego, CA traveled to Los Angeles on January 17th to address the University of California regents during the board’s quarterly meeting January 17-18 at UCLA.
Tenants and advocates from African Communities Together, ACCE, and Private Equity Stakeholder Project, testified before the regents, highlighting the increase in eviction filings at apartment complexes owned by private equity firms the CIM Group and the Blackstone Group, both of which UC is invested in. Tenants and supporters also descended on the CIM Group’s Headquarters in Los Angeles to try and meet with decisionmakers to let them know the conditions of their living situations and the effect of evictions on their communities.
“I have lived there for roughly 30 years and for all those years I have found CIM to be the worst landlord. CIM claims they are community-focused, but their actions have made it clear that they would rather contribute to the displacement of working-class families than provide stable and safe housing.” -Roslyn Gadley, Tenant Leader of Southern Towers
-”As blue-collar workers, we are already working hard to make ends meet with the rising cost of living. We should not also be forced to fight our landlord to compel them to simply do their job and provide us with habitable living conditions.” - Tewodros Teklemariam, Tenant Leader of Southern Towers
“...tenants, particularly those of African descent, have been subject to mass eviction filings during the eviction moratorium, unaddressed mold issues, hostile treatment, and significant rent hikes that make living at southern towers no longer a viable option.” - K Agbebiyi, Private Equity Stakeholder Project
The University of California Endowment and Retirement Plan has invested:
$7 billion in the Blackstone Group over the last ten years, including $4 billion just this month.
In 2021, Blackstone, the largest landlord in the U.S, bought 5,600 apartment units in San Diego County. This past August, Blackstone representatives reached out to inform local elected officials that the company was planning to evict a number of tenants who had fallen behind on their rent, and Blackstone has begun evicting tenants in San Diego and throughout the country.
$220 million in Los Angeles-based CIM Group.
In 2020, CIM purchased Southern Towers, a five-building apartment complex in Alexandria, VA with over 2,000 units. The advocacy group African Communities Together (ACT) has filed a complaint with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Freddie Mac that CIM’s eviction practices have violated the federal CARES Act, which requires landlords of properties financed by Freddie Mac to provide tenants a 30-day notice to vacate. Instead, CIM has given tenants just a 5-day notice to move out.
African Communities Together (ACT) is a national nonprofit dedicated towards improving the lives of African immigrants in the United States, and empowers African immigrants to integrate socially, advance economically and engage civically.
The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) Action is a grassroots, member-led, statewide community organization working with more than 16,000 members across California. ACCE is dedicated to raising the voices of everyday Californians, neighborhood by neighborhood, to fight for the policies and programs we need to improve our communities and create a brighter future.
The Private Equity Stakeholder Project (PESP) is a watchdog organization that works to empower individuals and communities impacted by the private equity industry.