Developers of affordable housing have been busy in Boyle Heights, with several hundred apartments for low-income families and seniors that have recently been completed or are in different stages of planning and construction. The list of projects include the 53-unit Sol y Luna that would rise five floors near Evergreen Cemetery; a 60-unit affordable apartment complex on Whittier Boulevard being built by a developer planning to build a second 78-unit project next door; the Lorena Heights Apartments that opened in March with 112-units; about 100 apartments for seniors in the former Linda Vista Hospital overlooking Hollenbeck Park; and, the historic Boyle Hotel, which will provide 55 affordable apartments across the street from Mariachi Plaza.
While these and other projects may not go very far to satisfy the demand for low-cost housing, some Boyle Heights property owners argue that too much affordable housing is being built in the neighborhood, according to Boyle Heights Beat.
In a story that looks at over crowded housing conditions in Boyle Heights, some residents have complained that the new affordable developments are serving only to draw more low-income residents to the neighborhood and failing to provide enough housing for existing resident and building a larger middle classs Property owner Felicitas Acosta told Boyle Heights Beat:
“Each and every community should be responsible for their own community and social economic problems, and Boyle Heights should not be the place where everybody builds low-income housing,” said “We need a mix of incomes if we want to make Boyle Heights progress.”
Martha Cisneros, treasurer of the Homeowners Association, added:
“In order for people to buy more homes, we need to stop with the low-income affordable [housing], and we need to fight to bring more middle-class residents.”
A UCLA study cited by Boyle Heights Beat said that 41% of Boyle Heights housing was defined as low income in 2009 compared to 37% 1990. Meanwhile, the neighborhood remains among the most densely populated communities in the region, with seven times more people living per square mile in Boyle Heights than what is typical for the rest of Los Angeles County.