Beyond Cathay Manor: The Interconnected Tenant Struggles of LA Chinatown

Elderly tenants of a low-income senior housing complex protest unsafe living conditions and demand accountability from landlords, developers and politicians.

Janis Yue and Amy Zhou | November 3, 2021

Chronically broken elevators, dangerous stairwells without proper lighting, a non-functional laundry room, inconsistent hot water, and cockroach infestations — this is only a partial list of the grievances named by the elderly tenants of Cathay Manor, a low-income senior housing complex that stands 16 stories high at 600 N Broadway in Chinatown. The tenants, many of whom are Chinese immigrants in their 80s and even 90s, have begun organizing powerfully to demand habitable conditions and accountability from slumlord Don Toy, chairman of the board of the Chinese Community on Aging Housing Corporation (CCOAHC) that owns the building, as well as the former chair of the Historic Cultural North Neighborhood Council (from which Toy was recently removed due to improper conduct).

The tenants are also demanding accountability from politicians such as US Representative Jimmy Gomez, Councilmember Gil Cedillo, and Supervisor Hilda Solis, implicating a vast array of community actors on a scale that has rarely been seen before in Chinatown. 

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Anti-Asian Violence Healthcare Housing

CDPH: Oppose the Pacifica “Transition Plan!”

PANA statement to the California Department of Public Health calls for the rejection of Pacifica Companies’ March 29, 2021 proposal to mass evict all Japanese American and Japanese seniors aged mostly in their 90’s to 100’s out of the Sakura Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles. This proposal will accelerate the deaths of these already-fragile seniors and exacerbate displacement/gentrification in Boyle Heights.

We call upon the CDPH to act in support of the health interests of the seniors of the Sakura ICF. Bilingual care is a lifeline issue. Bi-cultural services is a health issue. Please stand upon the right side of history. Help lead a new direction in California politics away from its racist past and protect the well-being of these seniors by rejecting this harmful “Transition Plan.” – Progressive Asian Network for Action (PANA)