You call this affordable? Rents at Echo Park senior complex start at $1,385

Photo by Artree Maharajh

The scaffolding has come down from Echo Park’s new senior apartment complex, revealing a bright white, nearly 500-foot long complex that has been promoted as an “affordable senior housing community.”  During last year’s ground breaking, Councilman Eric Garcetti said the $10 million complex on  Glendale Boulevard across from Echo Park Lake would bring  “sorely-needed housing for seniors to Echo Park.” But the monthly rents being quoted at Parkview Living, which was built by a foundation associated with Angelus Temple across the street,  makes you wonder how “affordable” and  “sorely-needed”  the complex is for Echo Park seniors on a budget.  Rents for a one-bedroom apartment begin at $1,385; rent on a two-bedroom unit begins at $1,985, according to a recording.

It’s not clear from the website if any of the 75 units at Parkview Living, which is intended for tenants age 62 and over, have been  set aside for low-income seniors.  The Eastsider has contacted the developer for more details. But what does an Echo Park senior who can afford $1,385 a month get for that money?  About 600-square feet of  living space, garage parking  and access to such amenities as a garden, espresso bar and  heated pool with outdoor shower. The building is expected to be completed later this year.

The folks at the  Foursquare Foundation, which developed Parkview Living,  apparently are expecting strong demand for the new apartments.  Members of Angelus Temple and other affiliated churches are being offered a place on a Preferred Waiting List to snag an apartment.


  1. Wow, that’s expensive.

  2. Westside Rentals says the average Echo Park 1-bedroom apartment goes for $1,299. And that includes apartments that are not exactly new builds with these kinds of amenities.

  3. For that much you get a view of a park in progress. And let’s not forget the espresso bar.

  4. Wow, were these supposed to be “affordable” units because of a density bonus through the city… or was the developer just throwing that in there as a buzz word to soften community opposition?

  5. ding ding ding! corner soul wins the prize.

  6. There is all this talk of Corporations not paying their fair share of taxes…what about these asses of organized religion in the Unites States? I have no problem with people having some kind of “faith”.. but don’t think I should have to pay your taxes..just so u, in the name of god can have more money to F**K up my neighborhood, donate to special interests, support prop 8 and a million other things I don’t agree with!!

  7. If a senior is already living on the eastside, odds are they’ve probably been in the same place/apt for a while, meaning, they probably have some low rents lock into place (rent control). They lose that of course if they move to this place.

    I’m only in my ’40’s, but I’ve been in the same cool pad for 22 years now and my rent is super low (due to rent control). I have 600sqft, a separate garage, courtyard (small complex), and in a WAY better area (1 blk from Trader Joe’s), that is safe to walk around in and there’s much to walk to. My rent is almost 1/2 of what they are asking above.

    Certainly doesn’t seem much of a deal for seniors, that’s for sure.

    • Not much of a deal for your landlord either, fleaman.

    • I’m not sure that anyone deserves welfare for 22 years – and if your landlord is forced to keep your rent artificially low for 22 years, that’s exactly what it is – welfare.

      • Why wouldn’t a landlord do due diligence on a property before purchasing? Rent control ordinance was passed in 1978 and applies to all rental properties with 2 or more units built before that time. It’s not a secret. No more complaining please.

        • Lauren, do you believe that people should stop “complaining” about all unjust laws simply because they went into effect years ago? If we followed your argument to its logical conclusion, we’d still have racial covenants on property deeds; after all, such covenants were on the deeds when people bought their homes. One great attribute of our system is that we can evaluate our laws, and if they are not working, we can lobby (or, as you term it, “complain”) to change them.

          There are plenty of laws that might have been passed with the best of intentions but are now oppressive and unfair. I guarantee you that many of the folks who benefit from rent control in Silver Lake-Echo Park, West Hollywood, and Santa Monica are college-educated upper-middle-class folk who earn good livings – and who don’t need welfare. If I had my druthers, I’d rather give $1000 a month to Doctors Without Borders than to my tenant in the form of a subsidy on his two-bedroom unit.

    • Agree with these folks flea.

      I know it’s very “comfortable” to keep an (artificially reduced rate apartment) rent controlled apartment but don’t you think it retards your growth as a person?

      • How is it welfare if you move into an area you can afford and the area gets gentrified? It’s not my fault the rent is completely inflated. Plus I paid my dues by living in this area for almost 20 years. I am a part of this neighborhood. I know every kid, every business owner. I have supported local businesses and helped them grow. How dare any of you say that a person that has been a part of the eco system of these neighborhoods are “welfare”. Believe me ], my landlords are just fine as they have tripled the rent on the other 8 units- besides they bought this 11 unit building for under a quarter mil.
        So pray tell, do any of you people that like paying the higher rent- have you become a part of your neighborhood? Do you even know your neighbors? Their kids? Or even your local business owners?
        Welfare? Scoff! My landlords are doing just fine, I assure you. I watch their car models improve every year !

        • Imagine opening a business and the government dictates your prices rather than the market…

          Communistic practices for sure…

        • Kelly, I grew up in Silver Lake and lived there from 1971 to 1982, then moved back in 1997, when I purchased a fixer-upper duplex. I can’t begin to tell you how restrictive rent control is; it doesn’t only dictate the rents that the tenants pay, but everything else in the landlord-tenant relationship. I am still being held to the contract my tenant signed in 1998. When I redid the electrical and separately metered both units in 2005, I asked the tenant to pay his own electrical bill, and he refused – and under rent control, I can’t make him pay for his own electricity because it wasn’t in the original contract (it would count as an unauthorized rent increase). He is on a month-to-month agreement and can leave with 30 days’ notice; I cannot evict him, even if I want to live in the unit myself, unless I pay him $7000 (plus roughly $500 in fees to LAHD). When I purchased the house, my tenant was earning roughly double my $37,000 yearly salary. Why should I be subsidizing his incredibly-low rent?

          • You knew you were buying into a rent controlled area when you bought your place and now you are crying about it? 1997 rent control was in full effect. I moved here because I knew I could not be just driven out by inflated rents. It sounds to me like you are crying because now you cannot get market value. Why do you think buying here for a rental unit was such a great deal in 97′? No cry babying by landlords. Don’t like it? Sell your place at a profit and buy a new place in an area where you are free to raise the rents. No one feels sorry for you landlords but yourselves. I love having my cute apartment at less than half of market value. I’ve earned it. It was my brave and bohemian ass that made it feel safe and look cool for other crackers to move into this ‘hood. You landlords should be paying me for making you cool. Ha!

          • Yeah James, you’re “subsidizing”. No, you made a bad real estate deal because you weren’t thinking ahead about rents doubling and tripling. Your tenant was smart.

          • Kelly, now you’re just baiting people. You’re a master baiter. 🙂

        • paid my dues by living in this area for 20 years ???hahahahhahahaha!

          whatever …..

          • Maybe I should have said, “been a part of this neighborhood for a long time” or “have been placing at risk youth in art jobs that they have maintained for 4-6 years and counting.” Yes, I have paid my dues by being a part of this neighborhood. I love my cheap rent! And I’m going to milk it! This is just a winter home now! Viva La Rent Control!
            I can own and rent! Yahoo!

          • Oh and I can rent out my place to out of towners for $100 a night. I don’t even have to pay rent now. I just cruise. Rent control rules.

          • @ KELLY

            Dear Kelly,


            You (shortsightedly) left the following details which make it very clear where you live and who you are in your postings:

            -your name (kelly)

            -the building you live in (an 11 unit building in Echo Park -of which there are (maybe 2 possibly 3)- with the approximate sell date and approximate sell price which narrows it down even farther)

            -your age (I’ve lived here for almost 20 years) so you are approximately 37- 45

            -a confession of subletting your apartment out for a $100 per night (a clear violation of the lease agreement)

            I know the the owners in both of the 11 unit buildings in Echo Park as we all attend AAGLA meetings. I’m sure a printout of this post will be quite handy in your eviction process along with your postings on airBNB.

            You know, you had many a scoff at landlords in your post. Maybe that wasn’t such a great idea.

    • @ Flea – these people suck, ignore them! You made a valid point about issues in the article, and this cranky box of broken assholes are acting like this is a forum about the ‘Pros and Cons of Rent Control’, or rather the ‘Cons of Rent Control’.
      @ BeanTeam: Does it feel good to shame strangers and accuse them of stunted personal growth? Makes one wonder… what’s stunted about you?
      @ Landlady: If you buy a rental property in an area with Rent Control you know what you’re getting into. You want to change the rules? Go to a city planning meeting and stop with the cranky quips to people like Flea.
      @ Haters in general: …… Belch.

      • Joanna, I don’t think that taking the time to explain my experience with rent control makes me “suck” or a “cranky box of broken assholes” (how’s that for mixed metaphors?). In my experience, most people don’t understand the ins and outs of Los Angeles’ rent control ordinance, and after having been subjected to it for 14 years, I have to say that I wish more people understood how unfair it can be to mom-and-pop landlords who are doing their best to follow the rules. I am paying for the sins of slumlords – and I know they exist – but the system is heavily-skewed in favor of tenants, many of whom earn more than the landlords who are forced to subsidize them.

        • whatever kelly ….dream on trying to build a pseudo connection to a neighborhood that you dont even really have ties to .
          As hard as you may try to pretend , you didnt go to school here , you didnt grow up here , you dont have relatives here , you dont have 12 homes that have been in your family since 1952 and still in your family , you have cheap rent , congratulations , but no real ties , you still are a “pseudo” part of the neighborhood”.
          Dream on.

          • So basically, you are saying that someone who rents doesn’t have any connection to the neighborhood, no matter how long they’ve lived there, unless they also went to grammar school and grew up in said neighborhood? Sounds pretty elitist to me! Should we tell the rest of the folks in Echo Park who don’t fit your description of a ‘real resident’ and that they don’t belong as well?

        • fleaman / kelly, Don’t listen to those idiots. If it weren’t for people moving into bad neighborhoods and sticking it out to the (gentrified) end, they’d all still be living in San Clemente or Santa Clarita or Santa Cruz or Calabasas…..
          I don’t feel bad for no “mom and pop” landlords. You only want our money as bad as we don’t want to give it to you. Why should someone have to move just so you can make more money? Would any of you landlords willfully evict yourself and move somewhere more expensive so that someone else could capitalize on your loss?
          If you say yes, you’re a liar. If you have an explanation, you’re most likely a lawyer and you should just shut up.

          • Jake, I “willfully evicted” myself in 1997 when I left a $470-a-month rent-controlled 330-square-foot studio apartment (which I had lived in for two years) in order to purchase my house. I didn’t live under rent control for 20 years and brag about what a great deal I was getting. To be honest, I wasn’t particularly concerned about my landlord, but I knew that purchasing a home was important, and I was willing to sacrifice in order to do so – and it was a sacrifice, in terms of living conditions, that few people are willing to make.

    • This neighborhood, Echo Park, where I’ve lived for 26-years, is a victim of “gentrification” and greedy developers who have taken over. Our rent, after 26-years, has been doubled or tripled in the last 5-years. We are elderly, 74 & 88. We now find ourselves facing the necessity of moving, at our ages (at least 100-miles or more away!) , in order to find decent, affordable housing. Both my husband and I were born and lived in Los Angeles ALL OUR LIVES. Who is responsible for this hardship? Why is this allowed to happen? It should be against the law! I call it Elder Abuse. That’s just “the American Way”? What went wrong with our country? What IS wrong with this country!

  8. This thread better get more comments then Cafe Stella and the little wall Gareth built!!
    Please tell me the neighborhood is not so scared of the big mighty church..but will take it out on a local shop owner!

  9. Amen, ChrisB!

  10. Going to start a church so I don’t have to pay taxes…brb.

  11. That is NOT affordable. That’s what I pay and I just moved into the area, into a beautiful complex with a nice view and parking. Also a very short walk to a coffee shop, groceries, etc.

    I’m not a senior, so I wasn’t exactly looking for affordable housing, but if I were this would not be it. I don’t understand how they can justify these kind of prices.

  12. All non-profits in the State of California are required to make their financials public except for those with a religious affiliation. This is a loophole that is obviously ripe with abuse. I’m sure these institutions are run by 6 and 7 figure execs. That being said and the affordability issue aside, this project represents an interesting bit of infill development. While I was sad to see the bungalows go (LA has already lost way too many historic resources), for better or for worse denser infill development is the direction LA is moving in. Question is would we rather see faux historic designs such as this (which in a few years with some grown in landscaping could pass for an attractive 1920s structure to the causal passersby) or the new generic look of the Kanner/Kilfer Flammang designs? (As for faux historic, too bad Palmer’s Tuscan monstrosities around downtown weren’t more sensitively designed.)

  13. This is reason 450 for why we cannot let Eric Garcetti be mayor. He smiles and shakes hands and then then amensia sets in. He never intended to provide affordable senior housing. He’s busy running for Mayor.

    As a side note, this development is already an eyesore. It would fit in well in Irvine.

  14. 65 comments in the 1st 4 hours of Stella building it’s wall…
    10 comments in the 1st 4 hours of Parkview Living Complex…
    So a business owner builds a 6 foot wall is much more disturbing..
    Then a church that tears down a good 20 houses to build:
    $6 000 000 garage only for its “flock” (no public access)
    $10 000 000 low income retirement home.. that is not low income
    To U all that have said nothing about this…but bla bla bla about the 6 foot wall
    Phhhh Pathetic!!!

    • The parking garage is old news, I’m sure people were just as pissed about it as the fascist wall at Cafe Stella (I know I was when I lived across the street from Angelus Temple).

      As for the senior housing, it’s mostly annoying because they claimed it would be “affordable” and it’s clearly not… and if homes were permanently lost that sucks (but I thought a few were relocated).

      As far as the size, these are not at all out of scale for Sunset / Glendale. You seem to think we live in the suburbs and not the second largest city in the country. Mid-rises are all up and down Sunset from way back in the day (Jensen’s Rec Center, the building across from Micheltorena School, the bricker by the Farmer’s Market, etc.) so density should be no big surprise as the neighborhood grows.

  15. Yeah, I have to say I actually don’t mind the aesthetic for how terrible it might have been, but def not what I would consider “affordable” on a fixed income.

  16. To any readers here ..who have just come across this story.. I apologize for the last line in my last comment:)

  17. If I am not mistaken, Aren’t their guidelines for being called LOW income housing.
    Seniors collecting social security would HAVE no money left after paying this so called LOW income housing cost.

  18. Based solely on his comments, I would make out with ChrisB.

  19. Garcetti has posted here in the past when he wanted to blow his own horn- can the Eastsider follow up with him?

    He should explain his position. He was making the hard sell- and now we know what he was shilling.

    I mean selling.

  20. Hmmmm…the fact that those apartments cost as much as they do is one giant bitchslap to the community. These assholes make all nice like they’re doing a service for Echo Park citizens by providing affordable senior housing when that’s obviously not the case. Can we really act that surprised that a religious organization lied to us? Or that they’re really only after money in the end? And isn’t it unlawful and discriminatory to give church members first dibs on the apartments? And why, Lord, must it be so damn ugly?

    • affordable is a relative term–the Board of Directors of the 4 Sq Foundation probably think this is “affordable”. (with 6 figure salaries, why not).

      Anyone who has ever toured Ms. McPhersons former “parsonage”, know she spared no expense to be comfortable, at the expense of her flock. Tithing continues today at the 4 Sq Temple.

      Shame on them, Shame on Eric.


      • Sister Aimee’s parsonage is actually a rather modest (but beautiful) dwelling, now a museum. Having spent some time in it, I learned about the great many Angelenos– not just members of her congregation or even Christians–that she fed and aided during the Depression. Whatever folks think of the current development activities of the church she founded, Sister Aimee’s dedication to her adopted city and the needs of its people seemed sincere.

        • Was Sister Aimee being sincere when she disappeared near Venice beach? A couple people from her flock died in the rough surf searching for her.

          A month later she came wandering back with a weak, contradictory kidnapping story. It was all a lie as she’d run off to have an affair with one of her married employees Kenneth Ormiston.

          I don’t really need to go back to 1926 to see that this church and it’s leadership is full of crap, but if you want to go let’s go…

          PS If your just into revisionist history and fairy tales you should check out the one about L Ron Hubbard- amazing stuff.
          Oh yeah and tax free.

          • Actually, one person died following the search off Venice Beach. He was a professional diver named Edgar Harrison, not a member of Sister Aimee’s flock, and he had an appendicitis attack which turned into peritonitis. His widow sued the state, and was denied any benefit, as the state industrial accident committee saw no evidence that his death was related to his having dived off the pier looking for the missing evangelist.

            Facts are fun!

          • Wow Kim you must have spent some time in that museum…

            Here the info on the two that died and a link.

            “Exhaustive searches were conducted by divers who worked themselves to exhaustion with one dying from exposure. A teenage girl drowned when she dove into the water thinking that she saw Sister Aimee in the water.”


          • Thank you, hmm, for the link to the unsourced website (below), but I’ll stick with historical newspaper articles that actually name the supposed victim(s) and cause(s) of death.

          • Yes, but —

            I think the point is not whether one or two people died while searching for Aimee Semple, but the fact that ANYONE died for what was a falsified story of a kidnapping designed to cover up her adulterous vacation with Ormiston —

            I’m sure that some Angelenos got helped out as a by-product of Aimee Semple’s photoshoots feeding the poor and hungry, BUT, based upon the number of stories (in the historical L.A. times) suggesting all sorts of skullduggery and shenanigans, she seems to fit the profile of every other questionably moral mass media evangelist you care to name.

          • She did feed the hungry all through the depression, as Kim said. She also made it a point to have an all-inclusive integrated church, in a time when that was pretty controversial. Sister Aimee is a hard figure to pin down for sure (with the mysterious kidnapping), but the way the church is operated now is surely not in step with how she would have wanted it.

  21. The headline is not unbiased.

    Is the East sider a “news” organization or is it opinion editorial?

    The prices set are adjusted to market, from this cost basis the occupants have the opportunity to have the government supplement the difference. what the occupant (similar to section 8 vouchers etc.)

    its really exhausting to see all of the people jumping to the negative on almost every topic on this blog…

    At the end of the day the result is GOOD not BAD.

    • Dear Clueless,

      (well said, the clueless part, I mean). The result is “good” not “bad”? Echo Park loses historic housing and a view of the Lake, per you is good. Echo Park now has a monstrously large, Orange Curtain style housing development “lakeside” rather than modest multi family Single lot homes, this is good, why?

      Dear clueless, beat it back beyond the Orange Curtain where you belong. Before you graduate the school of destroy and conquer and get the funding to demolish more of our Neighborhood.


  22. Sorry^

    What the occupant can afford (^^

  23. Not sure how section 8 works, and/or how it could (would?) be applied to this?

    I would agree that the market is the unbiased reality checker. If the developers/landlords truly overpriced/over speculated, then they will be the ones hurting the most (unless some vouchers/subsidies come to the rescue).

  24. This is expensive — absolutely. However, beware, EVERY time you hear the city brag about “affordable” apartments being included and so providing for extra density bonus for grossly expensive units, they are talking of this price and notably higher! The city is giving density bonuses to developers who include one-bedroom apartments at even an “affordable” $1,600 a month! This is true! And that means these apartments are actually quite cheap by City Hall’s standards.

    City Hall apparently thinks everyone makes $178,000 a year, like the City Council members, and so at that pay level, this is affordable.

    Garcetti has led the council for years. If he wants to tout himself as the liberal he likes to claim, he long ago should have knocked that “affordable” level down to something that actually is affordable. Of course, Garcetti doesn’t understand “affordable” as he has been quite rich from birth, born with a silver spoon.

    They use the word “affordable” rather than saying a certain dollar number or lower because they don’t want you to really know what they are doing. And why are we giving density bonuses for including a few “affordable” units, rather than for “low income” units?! When did we stop calling for units for low income rather merely for affordable?

  25. if the rent for this housing is correctly quoted as $1,385 then they should not be advertising the building as affordable housing for seniors. seniors typically are on a fixed income – with medications, doctor visits, groceries, etc. someone who is living on a fixed income will not be able to afford that rent. that is akin to typical rent in the Echo Park area.

  26. The Foursquare Church… ruining Echo Park one gigantic monstrosity of design at a time.

  27. Any of you that think senior living is ever affordable better start stuffing your mattresses. You’re gonna need 60K a year to have a quality of life that equals what you have now. No ones gonna come to the rescue. Better have lots of kids, dogs don’t count.

  28. I think a few posters have hit the nail on the head. Because this project is in Garceitt’s district, other council members deferred to him about the design, density and affordability of this structure. And, what did Garceitt get: contributions. http://ethics.lacity.org/disclosure/campaign/search/public_search.cfm?pubsearchstep=2&rept_type=ALLCon

  29. Those Ol Gentrification Greys ?

  30. I believe there is no way to say this is affordable for senior, they mislead, I feel bad for all the seniors that have applied and have found out that the one bedroom apartment will range from $1,400.00 to $1,500.00. Also there is no low income housing, section 8, hud or any similar. If they do what they promise will be great, specially those senior who supported this project. Most of the seniors with low income receive $845.00 to $920.00 so there is no way to be able to rent these unit, as someone said before they need to earn much more. The people who disagree and says is affordable, they don’t know anything, because they make much more and doesn’t know how to live with a fixed income. About removing the old houses, they were a hazard and continue to be a hazard. Those property were not worthy to save were and are all with termites, I only wish nothing happen with that old trash house sitting on Park and Echo Park. Don’t missunderstand me, I love old houses actually I live in one, but they need to be taken care.

    • I was absolutely shocked to see that rent for these apartments starts at $1340. Apartment managers usually want tenants who make 2 1/2 times the rent. How many seniors, then, can afford the rent at ParkviewLiving? To keep the units occupied, management will either have to lower the rent or get tenants who are heavily subsidized.

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