LAist - A Less-Visible Side Of The Latino Homelessness Crisis

LOS ANGELES, CA - Trouble at the small apartment on Vernon Avenue had been brewing for months by the time things came to a head this spring.

For Kevin Diaz Lopez, his housing problems began around October. That’s when his brother and two nephews moved out from the one-bedroom South Los Angeles apartment they all shared, moving to be closer to work in the Long Beach area.

That left Diaz, who works in a packing warehouse, stuck with $1,600 monthly in rent. By January, he was falling behind.

No rental agreement
Diaz says he promised the manager he’d pay within a few days. But he says when he came home one day, he’d been locked out. Some of his things were sitting outside. A neighbor called police, along with a tenant rights group, and Diaz was allowed back in.

But the message he got from the manager was this: “That I was not on the (rental) contract,” Diaz said in Spanish, “and I could not be here.”

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