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Skid Row Hotel Conditions Are So Bad Resident Collecting Bed Bugs As Proof

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Tenants of one of the last few residential hotels on Skid Row say the new landlord is allowing living conditions to deteriorate to drive the residents out. One resident is collecting bed bugs in a jar as proof.On Monday, the tenants of the Madison Hotel on 7th Street filed a lawsuit against owner Kameron Segal and his management company, William Holdings, saying management stopped providing basic amenities and also threatened residents with eviction if they complained. While the hotel provides a cheap option for many people who can't afford Los Angeles' expensive housing market—with rooms between $290 and $500 a month—about a third have already left, according to the L.A. Times.

"I'm looking for other options," tenant Walter Jordan, one of 15 plaintiffs in the lawsuit, told KPCC. "But the end result is that I shouldn't have to move."

Residents say that amenities such as maid service, linen cleaning and toilet paper restocking have been canceled and trash is piling up in the hotel. The unsanitary conditions have allowed for cockroaches and bed bug infestations. Jordan said he has already collected 80 bed bugs in a jar. "I'm sleeping on the floor," he said. "I had my own personal bed infected. They've refused to replace it."

The suit alleges that Segal is trying to force out tenants so he doesn't have to spend money on relocating the low-income residents. Management has been abusive and threatened residents with eviction if they complain, they further contended. According to the suit, one manager has stated that the owners plan on renovating the building once all the tenants leave.

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Segal purchased the property in June.

Advocates say single-room occupancy hotels like the Madison are sometimes the only option for people, such as the disabled and the elderly. "They are the housing of last resort and they are what's keeping people off the street," Lisa Payne, of the Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing, told KPCC.