Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Empty apartment buildings raise concern about Highland Park gentrification

Photo by Nathan Solis

The Avenue 57 apartment building where all the residents were ordered to move out by the new owners. Photo by Nathan Solis


HIGHLAND PARK — In August, Carlos Valdez was told not to bother paying the rent on his two-bedroom apartment. The building on Avenue 57 had been sold and the new landlord wanted everyone who lived in the 18 units out in 90 days. “I was shocked and heart broken,” said Valdez, who was paying $850 a month – a steal in now hip Highland Park. “If they would have raised the rent, I would have paid,” said Valdez, 27, husband, father of two and self-employed.

The same story played out at a short walk away on Avenue 55, where a now empty 12-unit apartment building along the Gold Line tracks is undergoing renovations. The mass exodus of tenants from these and other large apartment buildings has caught the attention and raised concern of residents who fear they will be pushed out from gentrifying Highland Park.

The sight of the now empty buildings and the fate of the former tenants played a role in igniting last month’s gentrification demonstrations on York Boulevard and Figueroa Streets. A posting and photos of the empty buildings stirred up heated commentary on the Highland Park neighborhood council’s Facebook page. Photos of furniture, barbecues, kids’ bikes and other items abandoned by departing tenants have popped up on Flickr.

Valdez grew up in Highland Park with his mother and grandfather in the same apartment that he left for good on Halloween. The last night that the tenants were allowed in the building at 226 N. Avenue 57,  the driveway was full of cars packed with belongings, Valdez said. People, mainly working class Latinos, walked in a daze. Valdez and his family moved into the Highland Hotel.

“To experience that – It didn’t feel like America to me.”

The two buildings were built in the late 1980s and early 1990s, which means the tenants were not covered by the city’s rent control laws that apply to apartments built before 1978. In addition, the two buildings changed ownership  during the summer. Valdez’ building on Avenue 57 sold in August for $2.4 million, according to online county assessor information. The new owners of  the Avenue 55 building paid more than $2 million.

“Unfortunately this is legal,” said Larry Gross with the Coalition for Economic Survival. “Tenants have very little rights in non rent controlled buildings.”

A representative from the city’s Housing Department’s rent division also said that it appears that the Highland Park landlords did not violate any laws.

On Avenue 51, tenants of another building not covered by rent control say they have been ordered to either move out or are face steep rent increases after new owners purchased the 44-unit building in September for more than $6.25 million. Isabel Aguilar and her family had been living at 219 N. Ave 51 for the past five years, paying $1,050 for a two-bedroom apartment when sh was given a 90-day move notice after the building was sold. Aguilar says before the move-out notice was slipped under her door, the new owners never showed up at her three-story building and were distant when it came to requests.
Avenue 51 building that was sold in September for $6.25 million

Avenue 51 building that was sold in September for $6.25 million

“We were devastated, because of the upcoming holidays,” says Aguilar. “I went crazy. I couldn’t stop thinking about where we were going. How we were going to deal with my kids and my mom.”

Aguilar and her husband did manage to find a new home in Highland Park at a higher rent, though Aguilar has yet to find a reliable way to get her special-needs daughter to school in a different part of the neighborhood.

Valdez, the tenant who was forced out of his Avenue 57 building, says he loves Highland Park, and doesn’t put all the blame on new residents moving into the neighborhood. His computer repair business is tucked away in the Highland Swap Mall on Figueroa Street, where some of his family’s belongings are now stored. He dipped into his savings in order to move his family. His old building is tagged up now, gated and locked.

He also hears that the Highland Swap Mall might be sold in the coming year to new owners. He lets out a laugh, because it’s all a bit too much.

12-unit building on Avenue 55. | Google Maps

12-unit building on Avenue 55. | Google Maps

Nathan Solis is a Highland Park resident who writes about and photographs the L.A. music scene. You can find more of Solis’ stories, reviews and photos at Avenue Meander.

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  1. Why should a tenant be afforded fewer rights based on something as arbitrary as when the apartment building was built?

    Furthermore, tenants usually don’t even know if the building they live in was built before or after 1978 until they’re getting kicked out.

    • A person could probably look it up on the county assessor’s website, right?

    • Housing will be happy to provide that information; online or at their public counters on 7th St. or Wilshire.

    • I think you are asking the wrong question, skeeter. The question is why would the tenant (no matter when the building was built) have MORE rights than the person who OWNS the building?

      • I’ll try and play devils advocate here to try and answer your question (I admit I am not doing a very good job of it): I think because “owning” a building is a name on a piece of paper and makes this person into a sort of parasite that lives off the work of others who are doing the actual living in the building and the labor that provides the rents. I mean, a rentier class is fine and dandy but their “rights” need to be balanced with some basic justice. Why should someone be afforded total control over your domicile when they aren’t living there? There is a lot of moral and emotional baggage tied up in this issue and the “owner’s” rights are just once side of the story.

        • When my car lease is up, I’ll have to try that line with Toyota. But–but–it’s been my labor that’s been pushing the gas pedal. I’m the one who’s doing the driving therefore it’s mine. Uh, no. Bottom line is, if you’re renting something, it’s yours as long as the contract you signed is in effect. When the contract is up, you don’t have rights to it anymore, even if your stuff is in there. That’s definition of renting.

          I know you’re only playing devil’s advocate. But this idea that owners are parasites is offensive. Most owners I know worked exceedingly hard to get the money together so they could buy. They’re not living off anyone else’s labor.

          • Plus, being a landlord is no walk in the park.

          • In general, yes, when a building doesn’t have rent control – and there is not the political will in LA for new rent control measures – the owners can do as they please. They likely did not even need to give 90 day notice and it sounds like at least the landlord was giving them the final 90 days free (at least in one of them).
            But…an owner can work exceedingly hard to get the money to buy. But once you actually have the property, and rising local values let you raise the rent…yeah, a rentier can live of someone else’s labor.
            A couple of years of rising rents can put the profits well ahead of the expenses, and then you are primarily living off of ownership, not work – even if it took some work to get there. And there are, of course, those who inherit a property, and truly do just live off its rents until they sell it. I’m ok with that system; that type of ownership incentives property upkeep. But i know people who live off of the rent they collect – they don’t do that much work.

          • Ryan,

            60 days notice for tenants who have been there for over a year. The landlord is not doing as he/she please. They are following the law.

            Landlord gave an extra 30 days for tenants over a year. 60 days who were under a year.

        • Um, because they OWN the property? Why do you operate under the assumption that every building is owned by soulless, faceless heirs who twirl their mustaches evilly all day? I can never figure out if your posts are for real or just some Les Miserables-inspired parody.

        • Altruism only works in heaven. Who in the hell works for free?

          More rent control means fewer rental apartments. It’s that simple.

          • You really need to back that assertion up with data. Rent control = less housing? Please, show me the evidence.

            Altruism is a diagnostic feature of our species. It has proven health benefits not just for the receiver but for the giver. Altruism is an adaptive trait that has allowed us to do a lot of awesome things as a species. If you are willing to ignore the evidence of natural history in order to score a point in an argument perhaps it is time to re-evaluate why you’re arguing in the first place.

          • So, would you give us an example of altruistic actions in your business practices? Not doubting you, but simply looking to put your point into context as there are multiple ways in which the concept of altruism can be expressed.

          • I work retail and also provide services. The long game in the service business side of things goes like this: I sell you an expensive device and I will not charge for labor as long as you bring it back. The value to the customer is pretty obvious – they have a person who has their back. For the service person this also works because I get the foot traffic, I get integrated into someones life. What also happens is I make a whole bunch of friends in the neighborhood – people who honk and wave or stop and chat about kids, life, etc. I get to become part of the place a little more each day in the hearts of others and they get the same from me. So, on top of the strictly “Hey, I get more repeat business.” slant I also get added benefits of being a member of a real, living, community.

            I also drop my prices below cost for repairs on things kids need fixed. I lose money on every single one of those transactions but it’s the right thing to do.

            Altruism, like I said, is a diagnostic feature of our species. Having people to cooperate with and give little “gifts” to has a big impact on our everyday happiness. It is an adaptive trait. Writing it off because some religious nut with pHd in economics says it is “not rational” is stupid and runs counter to what my rational interests actually are.

          • Great, so you’ve made decisions that both benefit the community and benefit your business in the long run, that’s a type of altruism I suppose, but my understanding is that ethical altruism is way more selfless as you are still looking after your own concerns, which is natural. I would say you might be more of a reciprocal altruist, which is great. Altruism as a business model is very limited I imagine. Sounds like you have found a good balance.

          • ubrayj02,

            use google; it’s there; price controls affects supply.

    • Agree that renters rights shouldn’t be based on when the building was built. In situations like the one highlighted in this article the renters should be properly compensated and be given enough time and resources to find new housing. Anyone on the “pro-gentrification” side of the argument should be in favor of that.

      • Yeah, but then you end up with owners subsidizing below market rents for people. In this case 27 years! No wonder the building looks like shit, can’t afford to maintain.

        • What cost increases did the landlord see in that time? A hypothecated “market” rent vs. actual fixed costs – did property taxes go up? Maintenance costs? If a landlord is losing money each month on a property, that is a subsidy. If they are only making modest profits and in return providing a well-maintained residence we can understand their role. If they are doing nothing new and doubling rents because the swirl of pension fund money and get-rich-quick investors hyped up a bubble say they can … you don’t have my sympathy.

          • As usual there are a lot of “ifs” in your head jaybray. It matters not where the money comes from nor where the profits go. As long as the owner is meeting the standards set by the government.

            Based on what you’ve said, it seems you think that investing in real estate some how entitles you to a carefree whimsical lifestyle. You are dead wrong.

            Investment in any form (especially real estate) carries tremendous risk, management and requires copious amounts of work. In other words, it is just like any other business. Work in= work out. It is not for the faint-of-heart. And… Check your jealousy.

          • El boomerater,

            Our know it all friend just finished a poly sci at some JC. Dude has all the answers.

          • I know what investing in real estate entails! I’m def. not jealous. Members of my family hustle hard doing property management. But we’re not talking about small timers like my family members. We’re talking about people on that next level “I am an investor” set who have cash on hand and want those fat returns.

            Here is where I take issue with your whole framing of this issue. Real estate /= a raw commodity. This isn’t pork bellies. There is a severe problem created when poor people are treated like chattle and given the boot arbitrarily. There is a reason why regulation exists in the first place. I can’t recall any shanty towns in the Arroyo until this latest real estate boom-lette started in earnest. I can’t recall as many families and young adults living in RVs and vans in this community until the HLP boom picked up again.

            Writing displaced people off as “sore losers” is toxic public policy. It is a recipe for property crime to increase, disenfranchised young populations, and unsanitary living conditions for those on the bottom. Those problems trickle up to all but the ruling class.

            This is not some econ 101 game here. Property is not a commodity. It is a special class of wealth and it is exhaustible and finite and intrinsically valuable because EVERYONE needs a place to sleep at night.

          • ubrayj02,


    • I had the same problem when my building was sold I live on Avenue 50 all I did was call up the LA housing department and they looked it up for me and told me that I Was under rent control and advise me so that I can still stay here

  2. People should be entitled to free rent.

    • Good god I hope you are being sarcastic!

    • People should be entitled to eat 40% of what is on your plate because their name is on a slip of paper in the Assessors office or because they have rich friends who loan them money.

      • No they are entitled to that money because they are loaning strangers capital. What percentage of your income that is is entirely up to you. You don’t have to sign that lease for that chunk of capital.

  3. Highland Park is changing fast but this is happening everywhere in LA. Especially in the historic districts surrounding downtown. The staggering evolution of downtown is rippling outward and creating a huge demand for rental housing close to the city. Everybody wants a piece of the action.


    I think we can point to this situation and see, clearly, that this is the economic displacement the protestors were referring to. This is what gentrification means when there are no economic or social or legal tools available to prevent real estate speculators and landlords from eating more of everyone’s budgets just because they have access to cash.

    There is no quality these new owners have that makes them deserve higher rents. The buildings are going to be largely the same. They’ve over paid and are taking their economic decision out on the tenants – who are blameless victims in these scenarios.

    So, how to prevent it? Take the millions and millions the LAHD has set aside to build their Section 8 terror plexes (which always get opposed wherever they are proposed because LAHD is a cronycapitalist nightmare of a department) – take those millions and start buying apartment buildings, converting them over to limited equity trusts, and teach people how to run and manage their affairs in that system. People can then move out and get their equity (but no more, no matter the market conditions) and new trust members can pay that price (but no more) and obtain the right to housing. No need to build more housing, only a legal reshuffling of property rights to the people doing the actual living and working to pay bills. With no landloards nor banks to feed, the tenants can easily cover the maintenance of the building and manage their affairs and still keep monthly “rents” well below what the hyped up market inflates them to.

    This isn’t a pie in the sky idea – limited equity trusts lock in affordability and prevent this disgusting real estate speculation. This class of moneyed oligarchs and oligarch-wannabes are siphoning off fatter and fatter cuts of working peoples money, dumping us in the streets, and then calling anyone who opposes this insane and unfair practice a sore loser.


    • At least you admit it. Thanks.

    • since there will likely be a larger demand than supply for this affordable housing in these land trusts, what criteria do you use to decide who gets the next available slot? and, whatever criteria you use, does the person who gets the slot get to stay if their situation changes? (ie say the criteria was income based. What if their income goes up while living in the trust?)

      On the flip-side of your communist rant, I would argue that these inflated prices are not set by the moneyed oligarchs, but rather by the people agreeing to rent or buy at these inflated prices. Imagine if you sorted all the people by the percentage of income that’s spent on rent from highest to lowest. If the people at the high end of the list started leaving the area one by one, rents would drop (thereby also reducing the percentage of income the remaining people would need to pay to stay). Rents are driven by demand.

      Where I do have an issue, is with buyers who buy properties purely as speculation and leave them unoccupied.. thereby reducing the existing supply.

      • The point of the trusts is to remove the right to live somewhere from the “marketplace” and to allow at least some people to afford to live a life where they are not handing over 40%+ of their income to the financier and rentier classes. A trust can choose to use its equity to expand and swallow more housing in this fashion – making the “market” about 1 million other things other than “how much you got in your bank account”. I think that is the salient point. It will not make people into more noble creatures, but it will stop displacement and speculation in the real estate market.

    • Are people just being given equity positions or do they have to buy in?

      • I have read about it being done both ways. Google “Community Land Trusts” and “Limited Equity Trusts” and there is a lot of stuff about it online. The LA Eco Village is an uber hippy version of a limited equity trust, I believe.

  5. I’m a landlord. I cannot imagine doing this to tenants. My tenants are humans with feelings and a sense of home. I’m so sorry for these folks being told they have to move. I live in and around my apartments. I care about the community and the people that live in. I have a real problem with landlords that are absent, corporate, and treat tenants in a manner such as this. So sad.

  6. What do you pro gentrification people think about a situation like this?

    Over night all these families realize they will no longer have the home they have known for years, sometimes all their lives. They have 90 days to figure out a giant life move. Is it all kosher because market forces drove the building to be sold?

    Profits over people or do you actually care about the communities you’re investing in like you claim?

    • This is the essence of the issue. It really is a bum deal and the only reason these people are being displaced/kicked out is straight up greed.

      Hipster home flips are one thing. It is in the rental market for singles and doubles that generates the real outrage, and justifiably so.

      • OK, here is a real, non-hypothetical situation that happened on my block recently: a nice family bought a run down triplex, to live in and to rent out the two other units. The tenants had been month to month and paid next to nothing. Sale was contingent on being delivered empty and the previous owner had tenants sign estoppel agreement – for all intents and purposes, a forced eviction.

        Now, the place was run down and ill-maintained. The tenants were paying nothing. The new owners surely paid handomely for the place and then pumped a lot of money in for renovations to make the place liveable. I doubt they could make ends meet if they charged the low rents that the previous owner, who did nothing to protect her tenants or take care of the place, charged.

        Why would this generate outrage? Was it really unbridled greed? Yeah, a pain in the butt for the displaced tenants. But, now the place is safe and actually inhabitable. The new tenants (Mexican FWIW) are indeed paying higher rents – but it is a much nicer property now.

        • Single family homes – I think we would all be hard pressed to feel bad about that. A fourplex? Maybe.

          But a 10 unit building? A 20 unit building? That is some serious affordable housing crisis level stuff going down. That is when you have a wholesale ejection of law abiding working people who are getting their lives disrupted and a community cracked into pieces for no other reason than greed. The small time land lords are not ever going to be able to have as big an effect as this type of investment-class bubble buying and evicting.

    • I think it’s a bummer, but at the same time, people have to realize that there are risks to renting (just like there’s risks to owning). You do not own where you live, so you are not in control of your destiny.

      So, when I was renting I had this in mind and never fully unpacked.

    • It’s a sad situation for the tenants, but that was the agreement they entered into. Should the evolution of HLP
      completely stop so this man and his family can pay $850 a month forever? LA is expensive and these market forces are always at work, so profit over people is too simplistic. Would you take up a collection to help this man pay market rates and stay in HLP? Get and education, learn a trade, make more $$, be entrepreneurial and have greater control of your destiny.

    • It’s not about gentrification if you are a renter. It is about being able to control your own destiny (if that is important to you). People that own have much smaller chance of being forcibly evicted from their homes (I can only think of eminent domain for that situation). If having “the home they’ve know for so long” is important to keep, the lesson here is: Obtain that important element first. If buying a home was not a priority over having children or getting a degree, (or what ever came first) then this unfortunately is the consequence.

      Hopefully, the younger generation being displaced are being taught this lesson. Unfortunately, I think it’s going to be lots of hand wringing and blaming others namely the white devil…

  7. How about we pay people a decent wage so they can afford to stay in Highland Park, even if forced to relocate b/c their landlords kick them out. That being said, as someone trying to buy a house right now, a living wage would have to be $100k+ !!!

    I take it back, let’s leave inflated HLP to the bozos, NPR Marketplace, and retired Avenidas and go somewhere else.

  8. Poor Highland Park! The evil gentrification monster is coming.
    To clean you up and make you a beautiful place to live like it was when it was first developed in the early 20th century.
    All neighborhoods evolve, gentrification is good not bad. Stop laying it on thick and blaming the owner’s of these buildings or the moneyed people investing in a currently poor neighborhood. Even though I can’t afford to buy into these neighborhoods, I am excited at the prospect of walking on Broadway, in Highland Park and hopefully Glassel Park one day,and not be afraid that I will be mugged or worse. You do not have to be rich to care about where you live. We grew up as renters but never trashed our home. Never threw garbage on the street. We kept our garden beautiful (seeds are cheap). So I welcome you evil monster.

  9. This is from the comments section on curbed:
    (from user Walt!)
    As a resident of this neighborhood and a member of its Neighborhood Watch, I’ll hip you to some details. The recently sold apartments on Ave 57 and Ave 55 were a constant source of problems here. Both properties were homes to local gang-bangers, one of them was shotgunned to death two years ago behind the apartment on 55, another opened fire on police officers behind their apartment on 57 just last year. While unfortunately innocent tenants were swept out in the eviction, the sale of these buildings comes as a HUGE relief to the neighbors here. Now if something could about the apartments at 240 N Ave 57, the origins of all that Dog Town Gang and CLT graffiti seen on that shuttered apartment building next to it.
    It should also be noted that the construction of these apartments 25 years ago played a critical role in inspiring Highland Park’s Historic Preservation Overlay Zone. Oh, and mad-props to the author for using the correct Highland Park abbreviation: “HLP.”
    [end quote]

  10. get the avenues street gang out… good riddance! yay for gentrification!

  11. HLP is a neighborhood that costs more money to live in than it did a few years ago.

    Your rights are limited when you do not own property.

    End of story.

  12. My goodness ujaybrae, it must be so difficult to be so misunderstood! Have you ever considered how really out of touch with reality you are?

    • If you’re just going to try and hurl insults please try and do a better job. Yours is not entertaining nor funny in the slightest.

      • @ubrayj02- I agree! El Boomerater is under the impression his every utterance is a brilliant comic gem. Few right-wing types have much of a sense of humor, or creativity for that matter. Lack of empathy limits one’s ability to relate to others.

  13. My friends,

    Our beautiful city is growing and attracting people from all over the world looking to make a home here. Change is inevitable, in everything and anything, period. Don’t hate! We are all going through trials in our lives. Everyone here wants the same thing, the American dream, right? Life is short my friends, stay loving, stay humble, and stay strong. Los Angeles is a little piece of heaven to many, the weather, the beautiful people, the opportunities. Focus on your personal well being and not others. It’s sad to see people hate, especially the haves vs. the have nots. Count your blessings and be happy yo be here at this moment.

  14. I will say that as a landlord who owns a pre-1970’s building, I can only raise the rent three percent most years, but my Kaiser bill just went up over ten percent, my water bills are going up, maintenance has sky rocketed, etc but yet I can only raise three percent . A building built within the last 40 some odd years can raise the rent to whatever amount they wish? Can just evict she ever they wish? It’s so oddly imbalanced, but I will say that when I was a renter, I didn’t like feeling I could lose my home of the landlord

    • If the landlord wanted to sell, evict, raise my rent, etc.

    • This is where so many small landlords find themselves! I feel like LAHD inspections should also work in favor of landlords too – but tenants will find a way to game that if a favorable inspection could lead to a higher % rent increase.

      • LAHD inspected my rent-controlled duplex in 2012 and cited me for having an unapproved laundry room, along with a lot of small items that needed to be fixed (i.e., some peeling paint on the wood windowsills, a new screen door, etc.). I had to get building permits for the laundry room, which meant having an architect draw up plans for it, then having a licensed electrician and plumber work on the room. Altogether I ended up spending $12,000 to “pass” the LAHD inspection, and very few of the issues that I was required to take care of involved the interiors of either rental unit. One of my tenants – the one who pays $100 a month towards all his utilities because that’s what we agreed to back in 1998 when he first moved in – uses around five times the electricity that I do each month (1200 KWH a month vs. my 264 KWH a month), yet I only can raise his rent by 3% each year. If it weren’t for the appreciation of the house itself, it wouldn’t have been worth dealing with the hassles of rent control.

    • pulling numbers from your ass; great.

  15. I have missed feelings about this subject. We moved to Highland Park 11 years ago and purchased a home here. This came about after renting near The Farmers Market off 3rd and Fairfax. We moved because the previous owner of the apartment we rented decided to let her daughter take over the business. This was aren’t controlled building so she couldn’t jack up our rent she did however make our lives difficult . Her mom was the complete opposite but thats a diferent story. We decided we didn’t want to put up with that and scrapped the money together to get our current home. We moved here because it was afordable we met other couples in the same boat. A year after moving here we all decided to have kids. Some couples later opened up shops on York. We have seen a great stride in the growth of the neighborhood and have see homes being cleaned and fixed up. Many of us who purchased our homes used sweet equaty so we are hardly well off. Some used sweet equaty in opening up shops. Granted there was the eyesore of trash and unkept homes we invested anyway. There was the occasional police activities and gang tags especially in the alining apartments around us. I come from an rough urban city Baltimore and could recognize the signs. I remember one night two weeks after we purchased our home a helicopter flying all night with the lights flashing in our house and officers on louad speakers speaking to the suspects. About a month later that building was taken over by the city and the tenants had to leave. My point is some were displaced unfairly and some were causing great harm and damage to both the apartment residents as well as the neighborhood. As one previous poster has said sometimes the crime activity makes a quality of life difficult. A new landlord may want o take advantage and change the tenants who knows there motivation. I would venture to say money. But in any event they put money back in clean up the area and remove the gangs. I for one prefer that. I realize they are those swept up in this scenario but they as well as all of us who have to live around those who have no respect for the law or there neighbors also do harm and disservice and why should we trade having a better safer cleaner environment to maintain the status quo?

  16. Interesting perspective from the LA Curbed comments section:

    “Another article with a sensational misleading headline by Curbed halfwit Bianca, who uses her anti-logic to make something that is good appear bad.
    Guess what Bianca? Neighborhoods change! Good areas become bad, bad areas become good again. Different ethnic and economic groups displace other ones, time and time again.
    My family has lived in Highland Park for 5 generations. Until the 1960s it was a clean, safe area filled with working and middle class families where people took care of their houses. Then in the 70s and 80s it became a slum filled with crime, graffitti, and trash as the middle classes largely fled. It’s nice to see the neighborhood come full circle. The people who try to romanticize the last 40 years in Highland Park as some halcyon era are kidding themselves. Those years sucked!
    A lot of these slummy 1980s apartment buildings are the centerpoint of neighborhood gang activity, and these buildings add nothing to the architectural or urban character of the neighborhood. The sooner these dingbats and slum apartment buildings are demolished the better. Good riddance. In fact, I’ll volunteer to drive the first bulldozer with them.”

  17. I found this article depressing and compelling….

    We are running out of room in the heart of the city where everyone is now finding themselves wanting to live. And re-zoning and densifying with urban condos and loft style buildings, with a few affordable units per development will do very little to satisfy the demand for housing for the undereducated, under qualified, poorer working class that already lives here, much less coming here in a seemingly endless supply. And we are also running out of water. So what will happen when people start ripping out their lawns and and installing drought proof landscaping, requiring less or zero more visits from their gardener. Density and automation will do a big part in wiping out demand for cheap labor too. It’s a big mess that we made and it probably won’t get resolved without a lot of hand wringing and finger pointing.

    • You are right when you say the problem will not be solved by finger pointing and hand wringing. The solution is focus on family and get an education. Stop crapping out kids you can’t afford to support. Don’t expect minimum wage to be a living wage. It never will be. Period.

  18. Displacement has been happening all over the city, including downtown. Rents are up 20% from 3 years ago, forcing many residents out of their homes. Usually with less than 90 day notice.

    Where are the sob story articles on that? Where’s the outcry?

  19. Ubrayj02…….you are obviously only going to see your point of view thru your compassion as a human being…it sucks for the unfortunate individuals whom rent in a place that is asking them to go….but I’m sure that the apt.s will not be rented out the next day to a new tenant…the owners will pump a lot of $$ into the buildings, upon upgrading units for higher paying rents, however overal to preserve their investment from multiple things like leaking or curdling pipes, major maintance issues they inherited from previously owner(which could lead to liability and city enforcement issues), termite repair, spray for roaches and other pests like bedbugs….some building owners maybe enjoy the way they conduct business and some might have trouble sleeping knowing they are disrupting people’s lives, however at the end of the day they loose $$ every day a unit sits empty, and would not empty out a building unless it was ultimately necessary or profitable…and we can only write things about investors in the upper tier of society as you call it, whom know very well how to make $ in RealEstate investments, which is a shame, instead of taking notes setting goals and applauding the huge amounts of $they are pumping into our neighborhood, as they make a few bucks along the way….please keep renovating our Nela building they need help

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