Part of a series of articles on Housing Issues in Los Angeles and the
Debate over Short Term Rentals
By Emma Rosenthal
Increasing Affordable Housing Stock in Los Angeles
Los Angeles has not had a comprehensive housing program since the 80s. Since then, large hotels have sprung up, in downtown L.A., displacing entire communities including some of the poorest people in the city, and more recently, developers have taken to building monstrous fake Italian villas and other luxury apartments, introducing L.A. to the $3000 single and one bedroom luxury apartment. Older duplexes and triplexes are being bought up and torn down as rent controlled units are replaced by newer larger more profitable apartment buildings not under the scrutiny of rent control, and while there is a move to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour, that’s hardly sufficient income to provide housing for the average family.
This city needs a comprehensive affordable housing plan. Blaming home sharing hosts for trying to mitigate the costs of housing, in the absence of any housing policy and limiting our other efforts within our home to provide income, is unfair, and if the real goal is to protect and create affordable housing, ineffective.
L.A. City Could Increase affordable housing stock
- Not approving the demolishing of rent controlled units by developers.
- Establishing rent to own programs, especially in foreclosed rental property.
- By extending rent control to all rental units built after 1979.
- By demanding substantial affordable housing units and wheelchair accessible housing in all new housing developments.
- By ending the $3000/month single and one bedroom luxury apartment.
- By requiring that all new developments be fully 100% ADA compliant.
- By providing incentives to landlords who rent to people marginalized in the current housing market and who make DISability accommodations.
- By creating opportunities for small landlords to make repairs, DISability accommodations and improvements that don’t pass on the costs or dislocate current tenants
- By enforcing fair housing laws.
- By providing rent subsidies to low income renters.
- By supporting small businesses that provide income to families, especially for workers not included in the mainstream workforce, including street vendors and short term rental hosts within the primary home of the host.
- By stipulating that TOT revenues (hotel taxes) collected from Home Sharing be allocated to the Housing Trust Fund, to be used for affordable housing and housing for unhoused people.
- By protecting our communities from predatory lenders, developers, slumlords and displacement.
- By increasing wages, jobs, job opportunities, educational opportunities, health care, community programs, urban farming and real social services.
- By ending the criminalization of entire communities, particularly our youth.
- By protecting the oldest of housing stock from the developers’ wrecking balls and by assuring that any new development includes the same number and size of units being demolished, with alternative interim housing to current residents along with priority housing and right of return.
- By providing homeowners and duplex and triplex owners support in expedited resolutions of issues with tenants, especially those in the same unit as the owner.
- Working with nonprofit organizations that are truly grassroots and truly advocate for economic survival in creating job training programs and housing restoration projects to restore, improve and upgrade our oldest housing stock. This can be in conjunction with rent to own programs and programs to assist mom and pop landlords who own buildings with fewer than 4 units.
Add your own suggestions to the comments!