Skip to Content

Ladera Heights Woman Facing Eviction at Age 102 Is Promised Help from Schwarzenegger, County Supes

2:13 PM PDT on May 28, 2019

[dropcap size=big]L[/dropcap]os Angeles County officials say they are investigating the legality of an eviction notice served on a 102-year-old woman in Ladera Heights whose case sparked outrage on social media and a pledge of help from former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Schwarzenegger on Friday said he would step in to help his “dear friend” Thelma Smith, who has lived in the same Craftsman-style home for nearly 30 years. On Tuesday, Los Angeles County officials said they were investigating the legality of the landlord’s order.

“Imagine doing this to a 102-year-old woman who gave back to the community her whole life,” Schwarzenegger told his 4.36 million followers followers on Twitter. “It is heartless. Thelma, I’ll be reaching out to help. Landlords, you’ll hear from me, too.”

Smith spent the majority of her career as an executive secretary for the Sugar Ray Robinson Youth Foundation in Harvard Heights. In an interview with ABC7, Smith showed off a fruit basket gifted to her by Schwarzenegger. It is unclear what if anything the former governor and actor can do in the matter that prompted a slew of social media outrage including from Congresswoman Karen Bass.

L.A. County's Consumer and Business Affairs can delay or completely stop an eviction if it violates county rules. County spokesman Keven Chavez told the L.A. Times that the investigation could take several days as they determine if Smith’s landlord violated a temporary measure installed in September by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors meant to address the region’s escalating housing crisis.   

Smith was given until the end of June to move out of her Ladera home, to make room for the landlord’s daughter, who is graduating from Yale Law School, reports said.

In an interview with the LAT, Ladera Heights-area supe Mark Ridley-Thomas said “county departments that handle questions of aging, housing and economic survival are also reviewing Smith’s situation, as are a homeowner’s association in Ladera Heights and several tenant's rights groups.”

RELATED: Deputy Serves Elderly Couple With Notice ~ Heartless Evictions Continue at Westlake Building Where Tenants Staged Strike

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from L.A. TACO

Woman Brings Claim Against City, Alleging Former LAPD Assistant Chief Put Tracking Device on Her Car

While on a trip with friends in September, the plaintiff discovered an Apple Airtag in a black box attached to the undercarriage of her vehicle, the claim states. Her friend scanned the Airtag and found that the serial number and owner information matched the last four digits of former Assistant Chief Alfred Labrada's city cellphone, according to her claim.

December 6, 2023

Exclusive: Macheen and Horchatería Rio Luna to Open New School Torta Shop in Paramount

Expect a tender beef barbacoa torta served with guajillo consomé to dip, a torta ahogada de camarón (shrimp) with a yuzu avocado puree drowned in a spicy lobster stock, and a "Mexi-Italian" sandwich with panela, hot pistachio salsa macha, and mortadella. This innovative torta venture in SELA is set to open next week on Monday.

December 5, 2023

Bésame Mucho 2023 Proved It’s Officially the Best Latino Music Festival Right Now

The ticket price of Bésame Mucho may be worth it alone for the amusing, overwhelmingly positive people-watching experience, especially seeing multiple generations of Latinos dancing to the same live music many of us grew up listening to at family parties.

December 4, 2023

Who Keeps Whitewashing Boyle Heights’ Anti-Gentrification Mural?

“We’re not going to let the gentrification of Boyle Heights go under the radar," says Viva Padilla, the founder of the anti-gentrification collective who collaborated with local artist Sergio Robleto to create the Posada-inspired art. They both have their suspicions of who is responsible for it.

December 2, 2023

L.A. Mayor Warns Unhoused Not to Sleep Alone As Police Seek Killer of Three Sleeping Homeless Men

Los Angeles police are searching for a man suspected of walking up to three unhoused people this week while they slept during the early hours of the morning and shooting them to death.

December 2, 2023
See all posts