Who Owns Boyle Heights?

Aurora Echavarria (Urban Planning) in partnership with Union de Vecinos

In Boyle Heights, a neighborhood in the East of Los Angeles, 75% of the residents are tenants, which means that the significant majority of properties are owned by landlords. Property owners use a number of tactics to hide and to separate themselves from the needs and demands of their tenants and reduce their legal liability. One of these tactics is to use legal instruments such as LLC’s (limited liability company) or LP’s (limited partnerships) to buy the property. In the case of Boyle Heights, about 20% of the properties assessed were owned by an LLC or LP. Out of the large properties (10 units or more), nearly 37% are owned by LLCs and LPs. Tenants may live in a unit for years without knowing who really owns their property, leaving them disempowered and alienated from their housing condition. Through an in-depth investigation of property ownership, this project aimed to answer the question of, “Who Owns Boyle Heights?” This included identifying the largest property owners in Boyle Heights (by number of units and value of assets) and initiating a door knocking and information dissemination campaign with tenants of these buildings.