Saturday, October 22, 2016

Development and demolition putting the squeeze on Echo Park renters

Echo Park, apartments

ECHO PARK — The bungalow that Melina Vasquez rents is hard to spot from the street, with large trees obscuring her small home and nine others perched on a steep hillside that rises above the 1500 block of Sunset Boulevard.  But an investor had no trouble finding the property, buying it December for $1.4 million and shortly after issuing eviction orders to Vasquez and the other tenants, according to the L.A. Times.  Rent control law makes it difficult to evict tenants but, under the state’s Ellis Act, owners can evict tenants if they plan to demolish the apartments or take the units off the market.

With real estate prices and development picking up, so have the pace of Ellis Act evictions, says the Times. It’s not clear what Vasquez’ new landowners have in mind for the property, but next door a Canadian developer is planning to build more than 200 residential units and, down the street, penthouses at the renovated Elysian Lofts are going for up to $7,000 a month.  Now, says the Times, Vasquez is wondering what to do:

Vasquez, 36, says the location of her $825-a-month bungalow is safer than other areas where her family can afford to live. A long staircase, shaded by leafy trees, extends from her hillside home and ends at Sunset Boulevard. It’s the only entrance to the complex.

At a bungalow farther down the hill, music hummed and neighbors grilled carne asada. Vasquez’s three daughters stood at her feet. Toys spread across their porch.

“Here,” Vasquez said in Spanish, “I feel secure with them.

“Where am I going to go?”

Landlords removed 478 apartments from the market last year – a fraction of the 678,000 units covered by the city’s rent control law but tenant rights’ activists fear the number will continue to grow as the real estate market continues to heat up.

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  1. Important to note that this property has foundation issues that must be rectified (*i.e. it’s sliding down the hill). I, for one, am happy to have someone investing their money into the neighborhood to improve the housing quality.

    Also, the article states that “landlords removed 478 units from the market last year” Can you please provide the number of units that were created by landlords last year? Remember, landlords creating MORE housing is the only thing that will lower rents. Supply and demand drives rents, right now there is already an excess demand in the area.

    If you are against local developments, and small lot subdivisions, for example, then you are for higher rents. Can’t have it both ways,

    • good points. Also, the Ellis act requires landlords to reimburse displace renters. anywhere from $7,600-19,000 here in LA.

    • Echo Park resident

      Do we really need more housing here? If there is limited housing, people will look in other neighborhoods. Yes, new buildings are great — but at what cost? How many more historic homes, bungalow courts and cottages have to be knocked down in the name of “expensive townhomes” and “luxury apartments” in Echo Park? We are single handedly letting developers take our history away from us and drive out long time residents.

      Whatever goes in the place of these bungalows will NOT be affordable for locals and low income residents. Developers do not have to include low income housing in new developments, and even then, those units are still not very affordable. (ie: The apartments going up at Sunset/Everett deems “Affordable” units as $1200/month for a STUDIO.)

      • The developers have nothing to do with the rents. They are helping rents if anything. Creating more supply is the ONLY thing that can help the wacky excess demand in this neighborhood.

        • Yes.. actually with so much supply and such high densities, it will become unbearable to live there, and rents should fall. Great plan.

          • While my views are not popular i’m sure (I don’t mind higher rents and would love less development). I’m trying to explain to the hypocrites that they can’t be anti development and hope for lower rents. Rent control is a market inconsistency that always corrects eventually.

            As for the density issue, I thought “on sunset” was where the NIMBYs wanted dense development?

        • You’re conflating the issue of available rental units with gentrification. They are not the same thing. Building more rental units that will go for a higher price means that the current residents of the area will not be able to afford the rents. It will not result in lower rents for them. And the difference in rent will be staggering and it will happen over a very short period of time.

          The ironic thing is that gentrification ends up destroying the neighborhood that attracted people to it in the first place.

      • In this case, the property was right on Sunset Blvd. It was only a matter of time.

        • There really should not be small bungalows directly on Sunset. There ought to be hundred-unit apartment complexes and the like. Right on Sunset is the only part of Silver Lake or Echo Park that has good bike and transit access to the rest of the city, and there should be more people there to walk to all the small businesses that make our neighborhoods great and keep them around without causing parking problems.

          • What you say is true. These clusters of free-standing bungalows on single lots are scattered around the major streets of LA. I can think of several more examples where I live, and panning around through the map linked to in the article shows a couple more nearby on Sunset. They are awesome places; I know a couple of people who live in them. Their anachronistic flavor is part of their attraction, in fact.

            But the clock is ticking; they aren’t dense enough for their site.

            It sucks for the people who live there, because they often have a little community within them (due to the shared walks and yard area). And, of course, they tend to be under market, because they have been left alone by development.

            There’s nothing wrong with holding two contradictory ideas at once — It sucks for the people who live there, AND a more sensible use of the space will eventually replace what’s there now.

          • One more perspective — this bungalow court has a design life, which it has probably outlasted by 30 or 50 years at this point. Built, perhaps, in the 1920s; with a design life of 50 years, which would be in the 1970s. Here we are in 2014.

            Here’s a link to some preserved bungalows (different feel from the ones linked, but same idea) — https://www.laconservancy.org/locations/hollywood-bungalow-courts
            Note that these are not directly on Hollywood Blvd. or Sunset.

    • http://lahd.lacity.org/lahdinternet/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=kA34UEkbp60%3D&tabid=146&language=en-US

       Qualified tenant – A qualified tenant is any tenant who on the date of service of the
      written notice of termination is 62 years of age or older; handicapped, as defined in Section 50072 of the California Health and Safety Code, or disabled, as defined in Title 42 of
      the United States Code, Section 423; or who has one or more minor dependent children
      (as determined for federal income tax purposes).
       Low Income Tenant – A tenant whose income is 80 percent or less of the Area Median Income, as adjusted for household size, as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and
      Urban Development, regardless of the length of tenancy.
       Mom and Pop properties landlords may pay reduced relocation assistance payments to
      their tenants for a good faith eviction for occupancy by the owner, family member or a
      resident manager, provided that certain requirements are met as prescribed in Section
      151.30 of the L.A.M.C. The reduced fee applies if all of the following conditions exist:
      1. The building containing the rental unit contains four or fewer rental units;
      2. The Mom and Pop landlord has not utilized this provision during the previous
      three (3) years;
      3. The property containing the rental unit contains 4 or less units;
      4. The landlord owns no more than one other single-family home on a separate lot
      in Los Angeles; and
      5. Any eligible relative for whom the landlord is recovering possession of the rental
      unit does not own residential property in the City of Los Angeles.
      Relocation Assistance Amounts
      Effective July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014
      Tenants Tenants with Less Than 3
      Tenants with 3 or More
      Income Below 80% of Area Median Income
      Eligible Tenant $7,600 $10,050 $10,050
      Qualified Tenant $16,100 $19,000 $19,000
      Relocation Assistance Payable By Mom & Pop Landlords
      Effective July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2014
      Tenants Effective July 1, 2012 Effective July 1, 2013
      Eligible Tenant $7,200 $7,350
      Qualified Tenant $14,450 $14,750

  2. Tyrone Washington

    This is how rent control hobbles people and stifles growth . In Ms. Vasquez’s situation, she became accustomed to an artificially low rental rate (at the moment, landlords with units under rent control are allowed to raise rents by 3% per year). This false sense of security may have lead her to feel comfortable enough to feel she could afford to house and feed 3 children. Now she will be displaced into realistic market rents. I’m sure it will be an unpleasant experience.

    • Societal lesson learned: Don’t ever evict Ms. Vasquez.

    • That’s a bogus argument. Market rates are intrinsically correct which is why rent controls laws have existed for a very long time. Housing markets, like many other markets, have always been imperfect and biased towards the monied entities and subsequently open to fraud, abuse, and greed.

      Why do you think rent control laws came into being? Google it?

  3. I don’t personally see a very bright future for echo park as far as economic diversity is concerned. It’s almost like the template on how not to do gentrification. Cute boutiques and a good cup are fine, but when a luxury development is squeezed on a tiny hillside lot within two feet of your face, one can’t help but feel uncomfortable. There’s going to be friction.

    • The article doesn’t say anything about what they’re going to do with the lot! Speculation.

      • It’s pretty safe for me to speculate given the trends of the area. But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, Oldman. Let’s say it’s not an issue of overcrowding and these people are being displaced to build a 5000sf home. Is the impact any less in your face?

      • Paying $1.4 million means they will build a lot more units than currently exist on the property. Or, it means this guy’s an idiot.

  4. When she moved into that place she was paying market rate. Just because the market has been hyper inflated she shouldn’t have to be penalized.

    • ah, but if the market had gone down, the owner would have to lower rents.

      can’t have your cake and eat it to.

      The only way to get close to controlling your own destiny, is to purchase your own home

      • Oh yes, because surely the single moms can afford a house in LA. This lady will surely get approved for a home loan.
        Instead of all of the “oh well” apathy around here, isn’t anyone concerned about this woman and her children? Wouldn’t real neighbors want to help?

        • Whether or not a single mother can afford to buy a home is beside the point; the fact remains that people do have more control over their own destiny if they own their own home. I think people lose sight of the fact that this is a big country and there are plenty of states where a single mother with three children can rent a two-bedroom apartment for $700 a month – or purchase a two-bedroom, one-bathroom house for under $200,000. Los Angeles is an expensive, in-demand city, but there are plenty of cheaper – and safer – housing markets elsewhere in the country.

          • I love it when white men show their privilege.
            You dudes make it sound so easy!
            Even a 10% down payment on the house you described is pretty impossible for a single mother of three. And if she goes somewhere cheaper she will probably get paid even less. It’s not as easy for a woman of color with three kids to get a decent job as it is for white men named James.
            This problem goes way deeper than what you are presenting.

          • Your response to my comment is so idiotic, offensive, and denigrating of minority women – yes, your comment denigrates women of color and their abilities – that I won’t bother to address it, except to say that I have met plenty of “women of color” (many of whom were fellow public-school teachers who earned the same as I did) who have managed to afford to purchase homes – and avoid getting knocked up three times by a guy who didn’t stick around. Shame on you for implying otherwise.

          • Incidentally, Kelly, my real name isn’t James, and my father is an immigrant to this country.

          • @kelly : you’re letting your emotion cloud rational thought.
            No one said it was easy to afford a 10% down payment on THAT place. She simply needs to move to a cheaper place. It may not be in the hot part of town on a hill with a view .. but heck, my income is probably 10x hers and I don’t live on a hill with a view.

            Her emotional plea of “where will I go!?!?” has gotten the better of you Kelly. There are hundreds of thousands of places to live around here. People move houses, apartments, condos all the time. She has places to go … and hopefully she exerts good judgement and chooses one that fits comfortably within her budget.

          • by the way, my sister is a low income single mother of three. I tried to get her to move to CA, but she wisely declined citing cost of living. She bought a great little house in Texas for $45K. She is the master of her own destiny.

          • James, I said it’s not as easy for a woman of color to get a decent job as it is for a white male. Tell me how that is incorrect? I could whip out stats if you’d like. Oh and to get paid as much as a white man? Well we saw how the equal pay vote went, didn’t we?

          • Kelly, I have seen no evidence that it’s any harder for a woman of color to get a decent job in my chosen profession (K-12 education) than it is for a white male. In fact, I’d argue that it might be more difficult for a white male to find a tenured position as a professor than it would be for a woman of color. I’m not implying that everything is equal, but there are plenty of opportunities that people can take advantage of, regardless of ethnicity or gender. The woman in the article was quoted in Spanish; what’s stopping her from taking ESL classes at Evans, which is right down the street? Why did she have three kids if her relationship wasn’t stable? Life is a series of choices, and so far I’d argue she has made some poor choices.

          • James. Those are not stats, those are personal experiences you are relaying.
            Also I am worried for the future of our kids here if you are a teacher.

          • James, it’s also really really horrible of you to assume she made poor choices because she has three kids. Maybe her spouse died. You don’t know her circumstances so stop being so judgmental.

          • One more thing, we should be commending this woman for taking care of three kids all on her own and providing a good home for them, not putting her down. I’ll bet she works very very hard and long hours with little pay to do so.
            We create our future through the next generation. Be there for them and they will be there for you.

          • Kelly, rest assured that I have never used my classroom as a soapbox; this is a different medium, one that encourages opinions, and I feel comfortable expressing my opinion here. I can’t stand teachers or professors who force their personal or political beliefs onto their students. Out of curiosity, what do you do for a living?

          • What do I do for a living? Well scour the internet for secretly misoginistic K-12 teachers, obviously.

          • I should have reviewed your previous posts on other articles before I chose to engage you in discussion on this story. You’re good at name-calling but poor at rational thought – and, incidentally, poor at spelling; the word is “misogynistic.” That said, I defy you to find any of my comments that could remotely be considered misogynistic, secretly or otherwise. If anything, I have tried to make the point that a single mother of three has options to achieve a better life for herself – such as taking her $19,000 relocation fee and moving to another state where housing is more affordable. Kelly, is it misogynistic to say that I’m glad I’m not married to you? 🙂

          • James, you really are the worst kind of person. I can tell you hate your job. That’s sad.
            You picked a field that is about 77% women. I checked. Must be hard to be a man in a female dominated work place. I can see why you are so frustrated. You must feel very powerless.
            White male rage is so typical.
            Enjoy your day. I know I will. I love my job!

          • @Kelly : wow, racism and misandry in one post.. a veritable two-for-one.

          • Kelly – You failed to support your assertion that I’m a misogynist, so I see you have moved on to other equally irrational ad hominem attacks. I haven’t said anything that indicates that I hate my job or that I feel frustrated, powerless, or full of rage (or that I’m white). Quite the contrary: I enjoy teaching, though I hate ignorance, which is why your posts annoy me. If your argumentative style on this forum is any indication of how you interact with folks in your personal life, I pity the fool who chooses to get involved with you.

          • James, I don’t need to prove you are a mysoginist. You already did that.
            And why is my personal life so important to you?

          • Kelly, I’d be glad to keep your personal life (or lack thereof) out of this discussion, as long as you agree to focus on the topic at hand and stop making personal attacks against me. Two can play at that game, and if you’re going to resort to prepubescent playground putdowns, then I’ll continue to “one-up” you with my wit. (Incidentally, you misspelled the word “misogynist” again.)

          • James, you may have your opinions but there is something known as moral turpitude when you are a LAUSD teacher. I sure hope your ISP isn’t available.

          • @kelly : Hope his “ISP” is not available? If your use of ISP is related to computers, it likely doesn’t mean what you think it means.

          • Kelly, I stand by everything I have said – and I don’t appreciate your veiled threats.

          • No threat here, my dear. Just pointing out that using anecdotal evidence full of personal information, while deriding single mothers on the internet, might not be the smartest thing for a teacher to do.

          • I didn’t start out “deriding” anybody; I was simply suggesting that the woman profiled in the article could move elsewhere with her relocation money. I did say that she hasn’t made the best choices and implied that she was “knocked up” three times by a guy who didn’t stick around. If I had it to do over again, I would have left that comment out. Any comments you’d care to retract, Kelly, or does the ability to engage in self-reflection elude you?

          • Kelly, I’ve reviewed our interaction here, and your conduct is truly disgusting and offensive. You have leveled several race- and gender-based personal attacks against me, and then you had the nerve to threaten me, and yet you haven’t presented any solutions to this woman’s plight. What, exactly, are you proposing here? Would you like to change the rules of rent control to disallow evictions of any sort, regardless of the amount of relocation fees? If you had an audience with the powers-that-be, what would you request of them?

            In all of your attacks on me, you haven’t set forth one single constructive piece of advice for Ms. Vasquez. I invite you to return your focus to the original article and come up with a recommendation that Ms. Vasquez can follow, now, in her current situation.

        • This woman could afford a nice home in many markets, just not LA, Many lower income families should consider other markets where their dollar can go further, if their occupation allows for it.
          In all seriousness, Detroit is a bargain.

          • I am struggling with the fact that I share the same city with someone as ignorant, racist, and sexist as Kelly. Kelly, please seek professional help, for your own good. You may also want to read some books.

        • Also, according to the info hector published above, she’s entitled to between $16,000-19,000. That’s a lot of future rent, or a sizable down payment in many markets.

          • That would be a lot of rent money if she lived in the middle of nowheresville, not in SoCal. Even at her current rent it would be good for about 2 years. And I doubt she’ll pay less unless she moves to a gang invested part of South Central LA or to Riverside County.

      • Dude, you have obviously NEVER been a renter. I have NEVER EVER seen anyone’s rent that I know of in the last 30 years go down no matter the economic climate. Why? Because the LA/So Cal region has always been a desirable area for many reasons.

  5. Can anyone point to a neighborhood that is economically diverse in a long term way? I can only find examples of diversity in transition. Just curious…

    • I’m not sure what city this is in, but this street seems pretty economically and culturally diverse:


      • Shame on you, James. Insulting a woman with three kids who is a renter and not a homeowner since, in your logic, that implies she’s just sleeping around. Working hard and being lucky enough to purchase yourself some security is fine, feeling so damned superior about it is stupid. All we’d need is for the state to reverse the present boundaries on property taxes and you’d have trouble holding onto your house on your teacher’s salary or teacher’s pension.

        • Barbara, my comment was in response to Kelly and wasn’t intended as a direct insult of the single mom, but I think it’s fair to say that I don’t have much respect for a woman who has three kids without a solid partner – and I feel even more disgust for men who impregnate women and don’t stick around to raise their kids. Over my fifteen years of inner-city teaching, I’ve taught plenty of children of single mothers, and whether or not that earns me the right to speak bluntly, I said what I said and I stand by it.

          Regarding your implication that a simple tweaking of the state’s rules would render me homeless, that’s simply ridiculous. Without providing details, I’ll just say that I live way below my means, and I always have – and I sacrificed for twenty years to get to where I am now.

          • Again, you have no idea what happens to her spouse so stop it. You are acting gross.

          • Echo Park resident

            James, you’ve dug yourself into a pretty deep hole here, and it’s probably best if you just stop commenting. You clearly have deep rooted issues with women of color and your own biases about single parenthood. For many children, being raised by a single parent is a much safer, healthy environment than living in a two parent household. As Kelly stated, you have NO IDEA what happened to this woman’s husband — he could have been abusive and put in jail, he could have died, they could have gotten divorced (like many couples, regardless of economic status, do). As the old saying goes, people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. I’m willing to wager you’re not an exemplary model of piety and sexual purity. What gives you the right to question another human being’s life choices? (Answer: NOTHING.)

            The classicism and bigotry in these comments are disgusting to say the least. I’m ashamed to call many of you my neighbors. Instead of pointing fingers and shaming someone for choosing to live where they want, where they have friend/family, where they feel comfortable, why not call out the societal structure (or lack thereof) that keeps women like this stuck in economic limbo? Why aren’t you all pushing for subsidized childcare? (Because maybe that would have allowed this woman to go to school.) Why aren’t you pushing for raising wages to meet inflation? (Because maybe a better salary could have led this woman to rent a better home.) Why aren’t you pushing for increased access to reproductive care and contraceptives? Stop putting the blame on the most exploited members of our society and stand up for positive change.

          • Echo Park resident, I do plan to stop commenting – this is a very frustrating experience for me – but it’s impossible for me to allow personal attacks to go unaddressed. I don’t have any “deep-rooted issues with women of color.” I worked hard over the years to challenge and push my students, and I care a lot about kids and the struggles that they go through in an effort to get a good education and achieve a decent life. I used to tell my students that I wanted to push them as hard as teachers pushed the students in Encino or San Marino, and I meant it.

            I can say that I’m tired of attempting to work with parents who have many resources at their disposal, but who don’t show up for parent conferences, don’t take their kids to the library, don’t provide their kids with a quiet spot to study, and in general leave the responsibility for their children’s education 100% on the teacher’s shoulders. That’s part of the reason I left the teaching profession last year.

          • @Echo Park Resident it is interesting how often times, folks who preach tolerance tend to only be tolerant of those who think just like they do (which is not very tolerant). I think what we have here are some fundamental differences on how people think society should run. I certainly fall into the camp that we all make personal choices, good or bad, and we live with the consequences of our choices. I believe some people will get ahead through hard work, luck, natural or developed abilities.. and others won’t.. and that’s ok. That’s life.
            I believe that there are people who cannot care for themselves because of some disability (physical, mental, etc), and that we as a society should care for those who *cannot* care for themselves. Currently, I think we are trying to help too many people, which leaves fewer resources for the truly needy.
            I’ll address your comments:
            What gives you the right to question another human being’s life choices? When a person’s choices requires support from the public (be it public assistance, rent control, incarceration, etc) it becomes the public’s business. We are paying for it. This will become a bigger issue is we move towards more socialized medicine. Now, the public will have a say if you’re obese, or abusing drugs, and your medical care is on the public dime.
            Why aren’t you all pushing for subsidized childcare? Again, difference of opinion. I believe the public should not have to pay for the care of her children. The public will pay to educate them, but if you have children, you must care for them. It’s a consequence of your choice. Yes, it limits your choices. Yes, perhaps you have to put things on hold, or make other sacrifices, etc.. You are in a different situation than people who do not have kids. That’s life. That’s your life. I have kids. I have to make sacrifices all the time.. relative to my career, my free time, etc because of them. I chose to have them, and I own those sacrifices without complaint.
            Why aren’t you pushing for raising wages to meet inflation? Because it messes with natural supply and demand. Minimum wage work was never intended to be work that a head of household would earn. It’s for entry level and very low skilled work. If there is an abundance of low skilled labor, then wages fall. If a company is paying too little money, they will have problems attracting and retaining workers. If we simply raise wages, it creates unnatural dynamics in the marketplace with many unintended consequences. It could lead to inflation (people can afford more for rent.. so rents rise), it could lead to smaller companies hiring fewer people or shutting doors entirely.
            Why aren’t you pushing for increased access to reproductive care and contraceptives? You can go to any 7-11 and buy condoms for cheap.

          • True Freedom,
            Somebody buy this man a beer! Man you have your head on straight. It is good to know there are some people like us left in this state.

            It struck me as odd that James was attacked for pointing out what *statistically* would be the case with this woman in this situation (single mom with no support from dad/s). “How dare you James – maybe died of cancer!” So quick to defend against facts that they didn’t know either! All James did was use his logic and experience in looking at this situation and while it was a very safe assumption, statistically he would be right. He was nearly picked to death by these hypocrites.
            So quick to say “don’t judge” whilst they judge. Sad.

          • So is or isn’t James a teacher? Does he stand by his statements about single mothers or does he retract?
            At least True Freedom from Pasadena sticks by his guns like a real Libertarian.

          • Kelly, I’m still waiting for you to make a practical suggestion for Ms. Vasquez regarding what she can do in her current situation.

  6. Do we really need more housing? Yes. Yes we do because our population is expanding greatly and we need more housing because of this. The world’s population is growing at a greater speed than ever so expect waaaay more housing units. It’s math, folks. More people. More housing.

  7. Demolishing these old structures with their cheap rents might not be so upsetting if the economy was thriving and well-paying jobs were plentiful. LA isn’t the only place facing these issues. The NY Times ran this piece today:


    “For rent and utilities to be considered affordable, they are supposed to take up no more than 30 percent of a household’s income. But that goal is increasingly unattainable for middle-income families as a tightening market pushes up rents ever faster, outrunning modest rises in pay.”

  8. 0.0007% of rent control units taken off the rental market in the past year – must be a slow news day at the Times… Yes there are many cases in the neighborhood of 100 year old houses on unstable hillsides foundations in need of major renovation – and no money available for the necessary capital improvements due to artificially low rental rates.

    • If you actually read the piece, you would realize that it’s not necessarily about rent control. It’s about affordable housing in general ….in cities all across the U.S.

  9. Stifles growth of WHAT? Not a family’s growth, I think, A decent place surrounded by trees is a boon to a family. High-rises that hide beautiful hillsides are an insult to everybody.

  10. Seems like freemarket landowning libertarians have done a great job flooding the comment section on this piece about someone having their life fundamentally screwed up in the service of rich people. Great job, guys.

  11. The only thing more depressing than reading about the new hyper-inflated rents this year…. are the comments
    after the stories. I don’t think I can read these stories anymore. It’s like sitting in a classroom of sixth-graders
    solving world problems…. “If you are poor, don’t have children, if you can’t afford the rent, move elsewhere, if
    you make a low wage, ask for more money, If you already have kids, then you shouldn’t have had them.
    If you live in a hip part of town, well it’s time for you to move because other people want your apartment…
    If you got divorced or had cancer, well that’s too bad, you probably ate too much junk food and now you are sick and alone, so just move already.”

    This town…

  12. Being told you need to leave your city of origin and remove your children from their school is not an acceptable answer. Too many developers leaving comments on here. Watching long-time communities get torn apart all over these days, very sad. The thing is no one is “forcing” landlords to buy rent controlled properties – if you are aware of the laws that help maintain affordable rental properties in the market and you don’t like these laws – then DON”T BUY THOSE PROPERTIES. There are empty lots and non-rent controlled properties in the same area available for re-development. Sure you might pay what an extra million but turn around and make five times that. No, I have no sympathy for these landlords that cry “unfair” and how much they hate rent control. Lot’s of available non-rent control property out there for them to play with.

    • reading the comments on here make me want to move out of echo park
      i would rather live in slab city than next to someone like true freedom or james

      • i can recommend a good moving company

      • I don’t mean to “hector” you, Hector, but what did I say that bothered you so much? I don’t think I said anything particularly radical or mean-spirited. I know how frustrated the woman in the article feels, and moving with three kids isn’t easy, but a $19,000 relocation fee is a sizable amount (if she receives that amount), and there are other places, even within Los Angeles, where she could find similar housing for $300-400 more than she’s paying now. Hopefully she and the other tenants know the amount of relocation they’re entitled to, so the developer doesn’t try to get away with paying them less money.

      • Relax, Hector, and stay put. It’s a well-known fact that True Freedom lives in Pasadena, James lives on Mars, and Kelly lives on Venus.

        We’re working on James’ ISP, but so far all we have been able to do is trace it to here: http://deepspace.jpl.nasa.gov/images/dsn/canberra4.jpg

      • Going to stay out of the fray in general here, but Hector it’s really sad that you are so uncomfortable with opinions that differ from your own, that you would feel the need to move away.

      • Neither of those yahoos live in SoCal.

  13. My guess is, the only way a developer can make a profit on a steep lot like that is to build high-priced units, because the grading and foundation is going to cost a fortune. Which means the place will become another brick in the gentrification wall.

  14. I am appealing the proposed development between 1512 Liberty & 1513 Lakeshore–Echo Park.
    If you are also opposed to the over-building that the Small Lot Ordinance allows, please attend the Public Hearing on Wednesday, May 14th, 4:30p, Ramona Hall, 4580 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90065.

    • Echo Park resident

      Vera, I live on Lake Shore not far from this site and had no idea there was a development going up there. Do you have links to more information?

  15. Hey Ms. Kelly , can I move in with you ? so we can all be inbreeds

  16. Its so much more than this woman and her children losing their house. Its losing your friends, her kids’ playmates, the neighbors you grew with, and shared with, and helped each other survive. And its losing your corner market, the Pioneer, and the raspados in summer and the elotes on the corner, and the laundromat, and the sound of fireworks from Dodger Stadium…and everything that made this little section of LA such a warm and welcoming place for so many years, which are now so quickly being snatched away into uniformity and traffic and strangers everywhere.
    When we inherited $50K in 1985, my hub and I found EP green and loose and hidden away from the concrete and neon, and we raised our son in our small 850 sq ft hut on a hill that we bought for $112K. A double lot, tho, lots of fruit trees, four dogs and we don’t lock the back door. Sadly, all our childhood neighborhood friends who had been renters have gone, priced out. The helicopters don’t buzz over head so much, and much less shooting…and the tiny house across the street sold for $770K., WUT?? .Unbelievable… So there’s that. Better, worse? Not such an easy call.(But I do wonder how speculators sleep at night..)
    Life is about change, and we must change with it..but do not for an instant pretend to assume that losing a house is only losing a structure. Its been the end of EchoParque for lo, about 10 years now, and tho I will never set foot in the Chevron, I do feel deeply for families like this one described who will now have to restart and put down roots again somewhere maybe not so green, so friendly,so simpatico, so much like the old life of EP. Vaya con dios. Sra, Vasquez. Bueno suerte.

    • or maybe, she’ll move into a new neighborhood with even more welcoming neighbors. Perhaps, one of her new neighbors will inspire her and they will go into business together. Perhaps she’ll become wildly successful and have the means and the time to put back into her community and help others in need. Perhaps, because of all this, she’ll be able to send her children to great colleges, and with the new connections she’s made in her new neighborhood, her children will get a job at a top notch research lab. Her children may cure cancer there.

      Maybe there’s a better situation out there for her and her family. You just never know.

      • i hope one day she makes so much money she kicks you out of your house true feedom and then maybe all these great ideas of yours can happen to you

        • gosh, Hector, that’s not very nice to wish ill will on someone. When I was a young lad, I had a great apartment near the beach. I loved it there. Had lots of friends and it was very relaxing. This area became more popular and, in addition to the housing boom, rents began to rise rapidly.. to the point I decided I couldn’t afford to live there. This happened several times over the next few years. I decided then and there that I would someday become master of my own domain, that I would buy, and never again get priced out of my own home. It took me ten years.. and a trip back to grad school to increase my income earning potential.. but I did it.

          So: a) I’ve lived it b) no-one’s gonna price me out of my house, because I own it.

          So, you can save your negative energy for someone else. Thx

    • @So Wut
      …perhaps she will take the 19K and invest it wisely so that in 25 years her kids can get a hansom inheritance like you did (50K in 1985 would be like getting around 200K today adjusted for inflation). Then they can buy a place in an area they can afford, and watch the home values sky rocket like you did. See what a wonderful opportunity this is for everyone involved? …that is if she makes some *good* decisions!

  17. this post and the comments that follow perfectly illustrate the sad situation in this country — no middle class just upper class and squeezed out lower classes that model has also fully lodged itself into the brains of the populace. Violence will surely follow in time.

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