The CHP is removing people who occupy state-owned homes in LA

LOS ANGELES (AP) – After hours, California Highway Patrol officers vigorously removed a group of homeless people who took over several empty, state-owned homes in Los Angeles and dozens of community activists protested.

Members of our Recovery and Reconstruction Community announced in a video message to Governor Gavin Newsom on YouTube on Wednesday that they had taken over several houses purchased by Caltrans to expand the now discontinued 710 freeway corridor.

Roberto Flores, the group’s organizer, said 20 families who are evicted or homeless and who live in cars and camps and seek shelter during the epidemic have taken over the homes.

On Thursday, only Ganil Hernandez and his family remained in one of the houses.

“We are taking back this home because we need shelter in their place and because housing is a human right,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez said he and his family were unable to pay the $ 2,000 rent after his partner lost his job. He said their landlord told them they would be evicted in December.

“We can’t afford rent here in Los Angeles.” We tried to move out of the state, but we couldn’t get a place there either. I will do my best for my family, ”he said.

A group of activists supporting the families confronted the officers, and at least three people were detained in full tactical gear by the officers as protesters warned the officers to stop, television reported, KNBC-TV reported.

The CHP did not respond immediately to the Associated Press’s comments on Thursday.

A large group of CHP officers arrived in the El Sereno district with at least 50 vehicles Wednesday night and forcibly began removing people from about two dozen homes, said Ruby Gordillo, who lives in the area and is a housing activist in Reclaiming Homes.

Gordillo was one of the mothers who took over an empty home in the neighborhood in March, inspired by women who took a similar action in the San Francisco Bay Area, which highlighted the state’s severe housing shortage.

A group of Oakland mothers took over an empty house in November 2019. They were evicted in January, but it was announced a week later that the women were planning to move back into the house after speculators agreed to sell the property to a nonprofit.

Caltrans officials said the group’s homes in Los Angeles, which broke into Wednesday, were unsafe and uninhabitable for residents.

“As such, Caltrans has asked CHP to remove the infringers so that the properties can be reinsured and put in place,” they said.

The agency said it is working with local authorities to rent out more available property as a temporary emergency shelter. He recently signed a lease with the Los Angeles Housing Authority to allow 22 vacant Caltrans-owned homes in El Sereno to be used for the city’s temporary housing program.

Gordillo said these homes are now legally inhabited by families involved in reclaiming our Home.


Rodriguez reported from San Francisco.