For years, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has positioned itself as a champion for tenant rights and an advocate against evictions. However, a recent investigation by the Los Angeles Times sheds light on a troubling reality: the foundation’s own properties are plagued with deplorable living conditions and a track record of eviction lawsuits.
AHF, known for its global network of treatment clinics, expanded its reach into the housing sector six years ago, swiftly becoming one of the largest landlords on Skid Row. While founder Michael Weinstein has publicly championed his organization’s work and aided in the funding of various ballot measures, the truth behind the scenes tells a different story.
The LA Times report reveals that AHF owns properties not only in Los Angeles but also in Florida, Georgia, New York, and Texas. In Los Angeles alone, the foundation manages nearly 1,500 units with an additional 467 under development. However, it is the conditions within some of their Skid Row buildings that have drawn the most concern.
Specifically, the Baltimore, King Edward, and Madison buildings have been highlighted for their squalid living conditions. The LA Times discovered a staggering 32 complaints in the King Edward building since AHF purchased it in 2018, whereas there were only five complaints on record over the previous five years. Exposed electrical wiring, painted-over fire sprinklers, missing smoke detectors, and faulty doors and windows are just some of the violations found.
The issues extend beyond minor complaints, with reports of black mold, cockroach infestations, maggots, plumbing breaks, and even a radiator explosion. Astonishingly, complaints against AHF’s buildings occur at three times the rate of other Skid Row nonprofits.
Not only has the foundation failed to address these living conditions adequately, but it has also engaged in aggressive eviction practices. Tenants have been ousted for owing only a few hundred dollars, and AHF has filed over 70 lawsuits against tenants for unpaid rent in small claims court.
This revelation casts a stark contrast between AHF’s public image as a pro-tenant advocate and the reality experienced by those living in their buildings. It brings into question the foundation’s commitment not only to its tenants but also to the principles it claims to uphold.
Q: What is the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF)?
A: The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is a Los Angeles-based organization that operates a global network of treatment clinics for HIV/AIDS patients.
Q: What did the investigation by the Los Angeles Times reveal?
A: The investigation uncovered poor living conditions and a track record of eviction lawsuits within AHF’s properties.
Q: How many units does AHF manage in Los Angeles?
A: The foundation manages nearly 1,500 units in Los Angeles with an additional 467 under development.
Q: How does AHF’s eviction rate compare to other Skid Row nonprofits?
A: Complaints against AHF’s buildings occur at a rate three times higher than buildings owned by other Skid Row nonprofits.