Tenants protest the extensive maintenance problems at of Chesapeake Apartments in South L.A. (Courtesy photo)


Hundreds of Chesapeake residents, angry at ongoing maintenance problems at the 425-unit building, have finally won a building-wide inspection, which will take approximately six weeks.  

On June 6, the Los Angeles County Health Department and Los Angeles City Code Enforcement began conducting the inspection of the Chesapeake Apartment complex, located on Obama Blvd. in the Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw area.  

At the same time, tenants and members of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment-Los Angeles (ACCE) held a press conference to call attention to the extensive maintenance problems at the building, and owner Pama V Properties president Mike Nijjar’s continued failure at properly addressing them. The Chesapeake tenants are demanding that the complex be taken out of Nijjar’s control. After the press conference, tenants marched around the complex. 

Chesapeake tenants demanded repair of broken pipes, faulty heaters and other problems. (Courtesy photo)

For years, tenants have complained of broken pipes spewing raw sewage into the building, vermin, toxic black mold and faulty heaters causing carbon monoxide poisoning. Conditions at the property are so unsafe that some residents have gotten ill and have gone to the hospital. So far this month, ACCE organizers have received around 140 complaints from Chesapeake residents about the conditions.  


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Eva Howard, a resident at Chesapeake for six years, has been living with mold, bed bugs and broken windows in her apartment. Her seven-year-old son got sick with lead poisoning and had to be rushed to the emergency ICU at Children’s Hospital. Once there, he slipped into a coma.  

“He was sick, vomiting, unresponsive. I tried mouth to mouth (on) him. I did everything I was supposed to do on my end until the paramedics got there,” said Howard, a member of ACCE-Los Angeles.  

She wants Pama and Mike Nijjar held accountable for the conditions that caused her son’s illness. “I shouldn’t have to bury my child over something that the property manager (did). I’m holding him responsible.” 

Monday’s inspection is the latest and the most extensive in a series of inspections of Chesapeake that the Los Angeles Housing Department and County Health Department have conducted over the years. Nijjar, a real estate billionaire who owns thousands of properties in southern California, has a history of operating substandard housing and unscrupulous business practices. 

For weeks, the Chesapeake tenants have been demanding Pama and Nijjar make comprehensive repairs to their units using qualified and licensed contractors, and that they be allowed to return after repairs have been completed. Pama and Nijjar’s response to the demands has been insufficient.  

The tenants are asking the Los Angeles City Attorney and California Attorney General office’s housing task force to intervene and hold Pama V Properties and Mike Nijjar accountable for their neglect.