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Santa Ana : Tenants, Officials Meet Tonight Over Evictions

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Tenants facing eviction plan to meet tonight with city officials to discuss a proposal to relax occupancy standards for rundown buildings that the owners have agreed to repair, a spokesman for the tenants said.

The involved buildings are apartment complexes at 1102 and 1030 S. Minnie St., where city housing inspectors have found electrical, plumbing and structural deficiencies.

The buildings contain 20 one-bedroom apartments, each limited by law to three residents, according to Mike Gonzales, a city of Orange real estate agent and an owner of one of the buildings.

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Gonzales said the owners are willing to cooperate with the city to bring the buildings up to par. He said the partnership purchased them about two years ago, with the intent of “repairing them and then making a profit in years to come.”

Nativo Lopez, a leader of the citizen’s group known as the David Coalition for Housing, said all of the apartments have more tenants than allowed by law. Many of the residents are “long-term tenants, and some who have been there 10 years,” but all 20 families face eviction, he said.

Speaking for the David Coalition, Lopez conceded that it is “difficult to argue” with the housing code when an apartment has “four, five or six males living there.” But, he said, the city must make allowances for families, “especially when the owner has assumed a cooperative attitude.”

The meeting will be at Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission, 1312 East 3rd St.

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