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Cathay Manor Owner Charged After Seniors Deal With Broken Elevators And Other Safety Issues

A black-and-white photo of statues of two dragons facing each other with L.A. City Hall in the background.
The entry to Chinatown in downtown Los Angeles.
( John Boylan
via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer announced misdemeanor charges against the owners of a 16-story low-income senior apartment building in Chinatown Thursday, for failing to fix two broken elevators for nearly two months.

Feuer says owner Donald Toy did not test or maintain elevators in compliance with fire safety regulations, saying “it is outrageous that vulnerable senior citizens are essentially trapped in their units.”

There are 16 charges against Toy and his non-profit, the Chinese Community on Aging Housing Corporation, that operates the senior affordable housing building on Broadway. Each charge carries a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in jail.

Feuer's office says it's working on getting those elevators fixed, but the advocate group that's been working with Cathay Manor tenants says there are other problems that need to be addressed.

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“There's roaches, bed bugs and other safety issues in the building that Don Toy has also neglected,” said Patrick Chen, an organizer with Chinatown Community for Equitable Development.

In a response to KPCC, owner Donald Toy said, “We’ve been trying to ask [the] city for a company to help us fix the elevators, the main problem is the elevator is 40 years old, so parts of have to be specifically manufactured and it takes time.”

Toy also said that management is committed to making improvements as soon as possible and if residents need help with shopping or getting to appointments, they can call the building’s office.

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