Mrs. Yeung, 86, has lived in this 120-square foot room for more than 16 years. She has a son nearby with whom she could live as a last resort, but she’s afraid that doing so would compromise her independence: “What I love most is my freedom. If I want to eat, I eat. If I want to go out, I go out. In the morning I go do some exercises over in Lincoln Park and sometimes I take the bus around the city… All those things keep me happy.”(Photo by Bear Guerra)
The average rent in LA is over $2,000 a month. But at this Lincoln Heights SRO, elderly residents have been paying under $400 a month for decades. It’s cheap for a reason: The building is old and not very centrally located, and residents have to share bathrooms and a kitchen.
They are now facing eviction. Most of the people who live here don’t speak English, and many have nowhere to go. While spending a day with long-time resident Mrs. Yeung and her neighbors it became clear that facing eviction meant a level of instability and fear that none of these seniors was prepared for. Now they’re learning how to fight back.
Evicted and fighting back
Inside this Lincoln Heights SRO, seniors are fighting eviction.