REP. GOMEZ CALLS ON CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO OPEN INVESTIGATION INTO POTENTIAL MANAGEMENT IMPROPRIETIES AT CATHAY MANOR
LOS ANGELES, January 5, 2022 | Cameron Edinburgh (202-515-1301)
This week, Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) sent a letter to California Attorney General Rob Bonta requesting a California Department of Justice (CA DOJ) investigation into potential management improprieties at Cathay Manor Apartments, a 16-story, 270-unit residential building for low-income seniors in the Chinatown neighborhood of Downtown Los Angeles.
“This fall, my office was alerted to unconscionable living conditions at Cathay Manor, which I recently observed firsthand and can only mildly describe as the product of brazen neglect and a stunning lack of humanity by Mr. Toy and the C.C.O.A. Housing Corporation,” wrote Congressman Gomez. “My staff and I have been working closely with residents, community advocates, and local leaders to find accountability and quickly resolve these issues. Unfortunately, these efforts have been stymied in part by the lack of transparency with which Mr. Toy has operated the C.C.O.A. Housing Corp.”
The letter noted that despite collecting $3.5 million a year in rent, nearly $2.6 million of which are from HUD subsidies, the C.C.O.A. Housing Corporation and its Chief Executive Officer and President, Don G. Toy have failed to maintain common spaces and units at Cathay Manor in habitable conditions.
The full text to Congressman Gomez’s letter to Attorney General Bonta is available here.
Local community leaders and Cathay Manor residents joined Congressman Gomez in calling for additional investigative action.
“Cathay Manor is in great disrepair,” said Ne Hung Home, president of the Cathay Manor Resident Council. “Don Toy has constantly told residents that there has been no money available to fix the property's countless issues. Cathay Manor every year receives approximately $2.5 million from HUD grants and another $1 million from rent and other sources. Where does the money go? In addition to dismissing Don Toy, we demand a thorough forensic audit of the books.”
“Cathay Manor was envisioned and built by the community, and it must continue serving and belonging to the community,” said Frances Huynh, chair of the Chinatown Community for Equitable Development (C.C.E.D.) Tenant Power Committee. “Don Toy mismanages the building as his private, individually owned property and causes immense pain and suffering for the elderly residents who live here. He must be removed from his position and be held accountable for his irresponsible and abusive behavior.”
The Office of Congressman Gomez first opened a casework file on Cathay Manor last September, following requests for assistance from a local community leader.
In November, Congressman Gomez sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge urging the Department to take immediate action to address substandard housing conditions impacting residents of the Cathay Manor.
In December, Congressman Gomez sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Affairs to demand the resignation of Don Toy. He also held a press conference calling for swift action to address the issues at Cathay Manor after visiting the property and meeting with residents and community leaders.