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A Low-Income Senior Home In Chinatown Could Get Help From The Feds

Shops in LA's Chinatown have plans, umbrellas, tatami mats, screens and other wares on display on the sidewalk. A yellow tarp is stretched over poles at the store on the left.
Some Businesses in Chinatown have reopened.
(Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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For months, tenants of Cathay Manor, a low-income senior housing complex in Chinatown have spoken out about broken elevators and other substandard living conditions. Congressmember Jimmy Gomez is now calling for the board members who manage the property to resign.

A recent inspection by federal officials found evidence of rodent and roach infestations, exposed wires, and other hazards, according to a representative for the congressman. The representative noted that the conditions and the lack of investment are “not new.”

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has ordered board president Don Toy to hire a company to fix the problems in the building, informing Toy at one point that serious problems persist with his leadership.

Toy said he has hired a management company and stayed on top of repairs.

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“Can there be problems that range from minor repairs to maybe some others? Of course,” he said. “But those are things that we, in general, try to address.”

Tenants and their advocates say otherwise. Chinatown Community for Equitable Development organizer King Cheung notes the involvement of a government official in asking for Toy's removal is a crucial step.

“Hopefully we have a new slate and people that are more responsible and more competent to manage the property,” he said.

Gomez said he will also investigate how Toy has used federal money that was supposed to go toward building maintenance.

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