Opinion: Where Has All the Housing Gone?

In a three -three vote, West Hollywood’s Planning Commission recently failed to reach a decision about the proposed project at 939-949 Spaulding Ave. and 7732 Romaine St.. The 22-unit condo project with four “affordable units” is not just replacing seven or eight rent-controlled units, it is displacing 11 more West Hollywood residents from rent controlled (not rent stabilized) apartments.

Anyone who is paying attention may have noted that we are losing housing that is truly affordable at an alarming rate. We are losing (or have almost completely lost) housing that the workforce, young families, seniors, young LGBTQI people fleeing discrimination can afford. West Hollywood citizens also may have noticed that at the same time as we are losing our affordable housing our homeless population is growing. We are not the West Hollywood that was once a welcoming city, a haven in the midst of urban sprawl … no more Matthew Shepards here…they don’t have enough money.

Now, back to Romaine and Spaulding. The trees the developer complained about (and wants to remove) are approximately 50 feet in height and gorgeous. I ask that readers of this to go to the southwest corner of Spaulding and Romaine and look at this lovely quiet corner of West Hollywood, and ask yourself how you would feel about losing your home and this beautiful setting. I guarantee that if it isn’t you today … you have only to wait for tomorrow. The developer says the trees were “inappropriately placed” and were “all diseased.” It was suggested by the Commission that maybe the trees had just been neglected (?).

Also city staff spoke about how this building would “increase much needed rental stock.” That, my friends, is simply laughable. It will “increase much needed rental stock” ONLY if you can pay the $3,000 to $7,000 a month that a one- or two-bedroom (small) apartment costs in this city. It is a common and ridiculous assertion that these buildings will “increase much needed rental stock.” Make no mistake, the increase is in luxury rental stock for what one of our council members once described as a new modern young population “who” (and I’ll never forget this) “go to Paris for lunch.”

This development at Spaulding and Romaine will most certainly eliminate more units of never-to-be-replaced rent controlled apartments from the housing stock…AND…for the elderly who live in any of those apartments, the stress of moving may be too much for them to handle or adjust to, as sadly it has been for elderly WeHo residents who are not well connected to our developer-funded City Council members.

If you believe in truly affordable housing (as I have for the last 25 years, and devoted my career to its development) then, with the $100 million General Fund surplus the city is so fond of bragging about, we should BUILD affordable housing. We should build on empty lots, like at Crescent Heights and Santa Monica, and in abandoned buildings throughout the city and stop throwing West Hollywood residents out of their homes.

And finally, as is the case with almost every housing developer in this city, these guys have “pulled a tract map.” What that means is they get their projects approved as condominiums, but the tract map approval (something the city routinely approves), allows them to rent the building as apartments. The advantage is…as usual…all to the developers. Should they want to sell their buildings in whole rather than as condominiums, they can simply evict all the residents, even from the so-called “affordable units,” without cause under the Ellis Act and then sell the intact building.

This increases their profit exponentially and saves the new buyer any problems with potentially controversial permits or pesky city rules concerning new construction as long as the units are not then rented for about five-years. There’s more, but this is too long already.

So, there it is. The project was continued to a date uncertain, when it will cycle back around to the Planning Commission. Please consider Standing Up and Showing Up and Speaking Up against the continued loss of truly affordable housing, the ever increasing number of evictions of West Hollywood residents and the senseless destruction of what is left of what we used to call our Urban Village.

Can we make West Hollywood a welcoming, diverse city again? It’s all up to us! There is still time if we, the citizens of West Hollywood, stand together. So please support your fellow WeHo residents who live in those rent controlled units at 939-949 Spaulding Avenue and 7732 Romaine Street.

  1. The purported goal of helping WeHo residents age in place is quietly eroding. The lottery list for moderate income units closed May 2017, despite the profusion of new multi-unit builds. Meanwhile many gainfully employed tenants struggle with anmual rent increases made difficult by wage stagnation.

  2. Let me say this a a low income section 8 tenant—no one mentioned this that places are not affordable for the new generation of low income the young version of what you Larry Block and Cynthia Blatt at the inception of this city. There is a low income earning disabled younger generation. Not only elderly and the homeless abound are low income, but college educated people like me will became disabled due to back injuries and a hate crime that led to swelling of the brain, just out of state instead of the current attack’s in weho if late for the last 5 years. I can’t jsr yo be disabled and come to what I thought was a section 8 friendly or low income affordable housing as of 2010, by which I was wrong or naive to think I could also be able or granted to live the way people did curca 1985-1995. Not all of us can have a high tech job or got by in college while struggle with disability or going through student loan debt crisis that leads to bankruptcy! I am the new low income generation of those that were of 1984 demanding those rights then and I want the things you had! I will never go to Paris for lunch I can’t even afford lunch at Hugo’s. Everything is gentrified! I lived in a unit conveyed to section 8 only because the economic crisis and a previous resident’s family matter left little notice abc the apartment laid vacant for 4 months that’s ehh I am here but I couldn’t afford the rent increases every year after 7 years. I only lucked out by 1 low income affordable unit. But people in my situation are just competing for a unit. It’s like saying to me in 2010, oh wait 30 years and live here til then to qualify for a unit 55+-62 years of age. My disability my housing subsidy and my section 8 will be permanent and I am her to claim what others benefited 30 years before me now it’s my turn! Larry and Cynthia I saw you both wants your wsys with business. Cynthia on no on red campaign that excluded me from
    Ever renting a section 8 unit on Kong’s because you were afraid of depreciating values and Larry got his store from closing by himself getting subdized by an underwear manufacturer. He is not out of the city but now lived more secure! Be lucky you both saved money when you rented cheap 30 years ago because I will never get the sand opportunity. I do however commend cynthia’s Article since I lived 3 blocks east on Sierra bonita and romaine and I am seeing condos go up or million dollar homes and I am trying to be the young millennial low income neighbor not trying to wear government section 8 housing or low income poverty on his sleeve! What can one do to live this way for only 7 years and have to qualify for low income housing. The competition is random lottery so residents younger than 60 are not protected and all wait and compete for one unit out of 40 of us invited that means 39 of us just get stuck, bide another year or get priced out. All the while housing isn’t assured and price increases that’s if people move they pay more than
    50 % of their income in these units to stay or remain local. Just know those people who bs dec yo
    Form this city 35-34 years ago. They us a 30 year younger version of yourselves at that time to the present who needs and wants those same things at those same prices. Lucky you circa 1985-1995

  3. This is nothing new. The same has gone on throughout WeHo, with only a few locals going to Planning Commission Meetings (to be ignored be it 2 or 20 concerned residents)

    HOWEVER I noticed on our local KABC channel 7 News, a Street nearby, but in the City of L.A. was to have the WHOLE BLOCK of beautiful Big Old Trees CUT DOWN in order to fix terrible sidewalks.

    The street (I forgot which one, but you can Google it) got together, called LOCAL! News Rooms and planned a demonstration of residents opposed to the trees being removed.

    I don’t know the outcome, but if you want to be heard, you have to get a collective voice outside the closed news within WeHo.

    I don’t have a dog in this issue, just saying

    1. A TRO was sought by United Neighborhoods for Los Angeles and Eastside Nature Alliance to halt removal of 18 ficus trees on the 1200 block of Cherokee that had disrupted and damaged the sidewalk causing injuries to pedestrians and maintained that a CEQA report was needed. The judge denied the TRO as the city agreed to temporarily put the plans on hold. A watchful organization will be monitoring the Cherokee block to assure the trees are not accidentally cut down on Saturdays which too often happens. The tireless Jill Stewart of Coalition to Preserve LA maintains that the city is removing too many trees in a necessary tree canopy, lacked a clear program to protect the its trees which other municipalities like Seattle who operates under a more fruitful program to preserve trees and solve problematic sidewalk issues simultaneously.

      Next court hearing is on September 25 for a preliminary injunction request.

      How does this relate to West Hollywood? Directly, as while the city has been slow to gear up its sidewalk cleaning plan one wonders about our overall city tree canopy and similar problematic sidewalks. Let’s have a comprehensive effort that addresses all that included scooters in the mix.


      The tree canopy issue is also directly relevant to development where too many trees are removed alleging disease and artful landscaping elements are introduced to decorate the projects that eventually become nothing more than tinsel on a Christmas tree.

  4. Cynthia, I think you are confusing, for the purpose of providing a Fox News like soundbite for yourself, the difference between Rent Stabilized housing and affordable housing. Rent stabilized housing is affordable to the current tenant only and then, as you well know, upon vacancy, the unit is rent decontrolled, landlords are able to raise the rent to a new rent, then the unit goes back under rent control. There are no financial parameters to qualify for a rent stabilized unit, they are not “income based” as opposed to affordable housing, that has both parameters in place for anyone to qualify to rent an affordable unit.
    And let’s talk about affordable housing in West Hollywood. The Dylan and Huxley, when built, 20% of each building was set aside as permanent affordable housing, I think around 70 units total. And the number of affordable units that were lost to build those buildings? Zero. The West Hollywood Housing Corporation’s building on LaBrea? 31 units of permanent affordable housing. Their building on Spaulding and Santa Monica? 41 units of permanent affordable housing. Number of affordable units lost to build those 2 buildings? Two. The Domaine on Santa Monica, another 30 or so permanent affordable housing units. How many lost to construction? Zero. Movietown Plaza, 72 units of permanent affordable housing. How many lost due to construction? Zero. Just among these projects is a net gain over 200 permanently affordable units.
    I’ve gone to a number of Planning Commission meetings over the last year and I’ve lost count of the number of new, relatively small condominium projects that are being built where the developer, while they could pay in in lieu fee for affordable housing, across the board, they want to invest in West Hollywood and opt to provide affordable housing on-site. I could go on and on, but I think you get the facts here, right?

      1. I think you need to stop trying to act as if you actually care. You’re the one that opposed development in your neighborhood. Duplicitous much?

  5. “I ask that readers of this to go to the southwest corner of Spaulding and Romaine and look at this lovely quiet corner of West Hollywood, and ask yourself how you would feel about losing your home and this beautiful setting.”

    Are you sure you didn’t mean a few blocks north of there? Spaulding and De Longpre, perhaps? I’m hard pressed to find the beauty in the endless motel-style apartment complexes dotting this area.

    1. It’s the loverly house on the corner of Romaine and Spauding with the dying weeping willow and half the block with all of the beauitful redwood trees. It’s an orginal farm house fromt he 1800’s that was moved to the Romaine and Spaulding before the streets were even put in.

  6. When I moved to West Hollywood in 1981, people were buying apartment buildings, raising rents beyond the reach of many elderly tenants and flipping the properties. We founded a city in 1984 in order to prevent people from loosing their homes and to preserve neighborhoods. We had a mix of rich and poor, gay and straight. We are loosing this to affluence and indifference. We are erecting an economic fence around WEHO and becoming another locked ward community.

  7. Hello,
    Let’s talk reality facts. The fact is that the city does not build buildings or control the housing market. Developers build cities. The city council does not build affordable housing or rent controlled housing. Developers build our rent controlled units or our affordable housing stock or luxury condominiums or office buildings. Each cities zoning codes allow developers to work within the law to invest in communities. And all these buildings are owned by people like you and me and not governments.
    Another big fallacy here is that rent-controlled units – many of them, are occupied by people who hide their income. The man next door to me saved up a million dollars while he paid the landlord $300 rent for years and year. Another on my street lives in his rent controlled unit and has a condo in Palm Springs. While you need to qualify for affordable housing units you do not have to qualify for a rent controlled unit. Years of wear and tear will force every renter out of the building if there is not a mechanism to allow the landlord to survive too.
    It is also true that southern california has had many a drought. How can the author accuse the city of neglect of these trees that are are not even indigenous to these parts. Redwood trees in southern california? Ms. Blatt talks about conserving water and stopping building many times and then she talks about feeding these trees endless amounts of water to preserve them.
    Ms. Blatt fought for the elimination of affordable housing at 949 Kings Road located close to her condominium. She fought hard and the developer backed off and paid an in-lieu fee to the city’s affordable housing trust fund and Ms. Blatt celebrated that as a victory. This is just the facts as they happened.
    There is a counter-intuitive approach. High rents in any building are ‘subsidizing’ the affordable housing units. It is a fact that the landlord is entitled to a profit and if that landlord can show he does not make 10% on the bottom line he can apply for rent increases. The tenants in any given property are subsidizing the ‘profit’ for those low-income units. The highest rents are in the neighborhoods that employ rent-control and restrict development. The argument here is not a solution to the issue of housing. Its a ‘tournakit’ on good development.
    What also is missed here is that there is a new generation. The streets are flooded with bars and restaurants and patrons who pay $20 a drink and can spend $100 a night easy at the bars. A friend gets a new job out of college at Facebook at 125k, and another relocates to Google at 150k. Ive got friends at the studios making 200 and 300k .. The reality of todays home prices and wages are not the same as they were when any of us bought our home or condo. So yes, many people can afford these prices or we would have more vacancies. And yes, these people who apply for these places and these rents get credit checked and approved. So lets not discount the upwardly young professional.
    The reality is that we can offer more solutions for more housing and ways to take care of our aging in place population but it does not apply to ‘old abandoned buildings’ or buildings that are at their end of their useful life. Its called Evolution and sadly the author thinks government can control evolution.

    1. I believe the real issue is that Prop 13 has stopped the upward mobility of families by keeping people in their homes longer, because they can not afford the new Property taxes, and not freeing up older stock that younger people would normally buy or rent and this, now high, property tax bill that has to be paid by new development owners, so now we have Homeowners that can not afford upward mobility because of the threat of higher Property taxes and renters that have no place to go because them owners aren’t moving like they used to. Property owners are not moving because new owners are subsidizing their Prop 13 tax bill, and I although I agree with you Larry, I think this fact gets lost in the Housing crisis debate

    2. The building that was scaled back on North Kings Road is number 838, not 949. There were several good reasons for opposing the 838 project as originally proposed. The primary one is that the 800 block already has more affordable units than any other block in the City with two buildings, numbers 800 and 801, being exclusively affordable housing. The block is very congested with double parking making it an obstacle course. The developer of 838 paid an in lieu fee. Why isn’t the City using money from the in lieu fund to build affordable housing? And why isn’t the City offering incentives to landlords to help them upgrade existing housing stock so that the character of the City can be maintained, interiors brought up to current code, tenants kept in place, and rents kept affordable? It says little for us a community if we consider our less affluent residents to be disposable at the whim of developers.

    3. Larry that’s a rather simplistic approach. You are making blanket statemements about people in rent controlled buidings and siding with developers and landlords. Let’s not forget that rent controlled buildings are based on the year the building was built and the reason for that is because most of them are not only paid off but have been for decades.

      The fact remains that you have teachers, senior citizens and disabled people being forced into the streets due to greedy developers and over development in our city. Crime and homelessness has been on the up swing since these developements have begun to occur at an alarming pace.

      I find it ridiculous that a city that has been at the forefront of creating smoking and plastic bag bans where many other cities followed suit can’t seem to figure out how to make sure it’s long term citzens are not being thrown out into the streets. These developers stand to made 10’s of millions of dollars but pay out people who have lived in their homes for 25 years so poorly that it doesn’t even equate to 6 months of a current rental market rates. The city can do better but choose not to since the developers pay for the policticans campaigns. In closing your WEHO Party store doesn’t stand much of a chance of staying in business if they keep displacing the LGBT community that actualy made the city great to begin with.

  8. I just can’t get behind “affordable housing” for it’s not fair either. Most people who live in an expensive home can barely afford it themselves. And when an area is in high demand, rent goes up. Why should people who can’t afford to live in a luxury, new condo/apt be allowed to when those who have more income can’t usually afford it either?

    What I do despise is knocking down historic, Spanish style homes for another ugly box with cheap materials that looks bad in a few years. Leave the new developments for Santa Monica Blvd. which is still a grungy mess and needs lots of new projects. But the side streets in WeHo have a lot of charming building that are being destroyed (such as the 728 sweetzer block; almost an entire side of a block torn down. It destroyed the charm of that entire street. That’s nuts.).

    I appreciate your efforts, your points Cynthia. I’ve struggled with housing costs my entire life but I know how supply and demand and free markets work. If you can’t afford to live somewhere, you have to accept that reality.

  9. EXACTLY CYNTHIA BLATT!!!!…..not to forget the councils do-nothing promise to allow people to “age in place”. What a joke.

    1. If you think the aging in place program is no joke, the Aging in Place program is not just a city effort, it is a community wide effort and it is quite successful, you can find out more at JFS at Plummer Park, or the city’s Social Services division, or at the LGBT Center, or through the County DPSS or even from Cedars, or from the State Dept of Public Health or from the California Health and Human Services Agency. The City has been proactive in this program since its inception, and everyday, more and more services are coming online.

      1. You tell this to every old person I know who has been forced out of their apartments and out of West Hollywood, the only home they’ve known for decades. Talk is cheap. The city isn’t making it happen.

        1. The city has limited power on what they can tell a property owner to do with his/her property. Quit blaming the city for capitalism.

          1. Nowhere in my words above did I say the city should tell a property owner what to do with their property. What I DID say is these seniors aren’t aging in place in WEST HOLLYWOOD once they are removed from their apartments, so what exactly DOES this “aging in place” catchphrase mean if they can’t stay in West Hollywood???

          2. Well, actually, the City CAN tell property owners exactly what they can do with their property…it’s called Zoning Codes. It’s called the General Plan.

            And when more apartments are destroyed, than replaced…people are forced out. And as a result of the choices we make through our votes we have a City Council with 4 of its 5 members working for the developers rather than its citizens.

            Sadly, WeHo is being reserved for the wealthy alone…against all its Founding principals.

      2. Hi Wehoville: Can we see some qualified figures and results generated by the AGING IN PLACE PROGRAM? Typically these programs move at a glacial pace but let’s hope the program actually nets some results for those seniors that are aging before they expire.

  10. You’re right. Part of the problem, as I understand it, is the we — the people of West Hollywood and the City Council that used to manage it have done too good a job of making West Hollywood a preferred place to live. My neighborhood, the Tri-West area used to be a fairly seedy, run-down area anchored solely by the Bodhi Tree and other spiritual type establishments when I moved in. Now Melrose is a mini Rodeo Drive East. It stinketh.

    I do think there’s some (slight) hope. With wages slightly rising, I have seen rents that used to be exorbitantly out of my reach become now only slightly out of my reach. And areas just to our North over the hill, and to the South-East (Koreatown, Miracle Mile) being the areas similar to what West Hollywood used to be and becoming more affordable with all the units going up.

    The biggest issue for me is the corruption within West Hollywood and the two-faced city council members who claim to be “anti-development” and then put people on the Planning Commission who rarely see a project they outright reject. I’m not sure what’s going on, but when I see developers cozying it up with council members at city council members it makes my stomach churn. If you want money for your election coffers — try raising funds from the people you represent, not the people you can do favors for.

    Again, we the people of West Hollywood made this city the desirable place to live that it is. We do not deserve to be thrown out on our ear because someone else wants to come in and make money over the land we call home.

  11. I don’t even think builders should have to put affordable units in their buildings. Why should someone who can’t afford to live in a building that I couldn’t even afford to live in get a discount? Also, I certainly know what won’t help the lack of the housing. Not building anymore. We all complain about the costs of housing but then we whine and complain when large apartment building is proposed. We have to let the laws of supply and demand dictate the price of things, and if the price is high people will build more because there are profits to be made. The city and other groups who block the development of additional housing are disrupting the natural working of the law by not allowing the supply to increase. I know the next response is that the city wouldn’t be the same, traffic will be bad, and on on, if we let it get build, So, fine then it going to be expensive. All of us would like “affordable housing” but this is not an affordable part of town. The bottom line is not everyone is going to get to live where they want if they don’t make enough money to live there and I don’t think we should be giving out special deals to a few people.

  12. I love to look at the “if you build it they will come” piles sprouting up all around town.. You know the ones. No consideration of the ups and downs of the ho,t hot Sun – so that blinding, nasty western light assails many and many others can admire the constellations because those get the waxing, waning new and old moonlight. There is no “view”. Just cheap looking eyesores. And they tend to resemble each other but with pseudo-intellectual names that ostensibly make them far “ritzier” than say, even The Ritz? I delight in the tiny terraces that hover over La Brea and the aroma of fast food,carbon emissions, honking horns and motors running (oooh- the motorcycles – yowsa!). I have no idea the cost – but since these are “luxury” units I betcha’ they ain’t cheap.

    This is less about “affordable” housing as it is realistic rents for apartments throughout WeHo. This is not Venezia and its canals, but it is becoming WeHo and its revenue streams. At the very least the newcomers to town, who will pay the admission fee, could wait until the trickle of Baby Boomers die off and leave their not so gorgeous rent-control digs. And lest you imagine those rent-controlled relics are architectural gems with perfectly kept premises. Think again. Many of these mid-century masterpieces were boxy buildings with few “features” and they have not been maintained per city codes. But they were priced within the realm of being rented. One located near me was vacated not too long ago and it had some features that needed to be saved. Dating from the mid 20’s, it had been home to starlets, harlots, bar men and car men. Up and down stairs and even little attic garrets that were quite charming. The recent vacancy was a nightmare after it was redone to
    rent. A design and construction disaster. It is already on its second set of tenants within less than year. The price tag? $3700 +. A cautionary tale.

    Affordable housing is a fantasy phrase. It is a broken promise to a middle class that erodes silently. Prior to the Ellis Act, this was a city that offered affordable housing. We had neighborhoods, communities and congeniality. We were less “artisanal” but far more inviting. We had kids and the elderly and services and it was affordable.

    We do not need new “affordable” housing (those FEW mandated units) as much as we need a city thatserves its residents and enforces codes routinely. One where tenants needn’t hire lawyers to get repairs done (with threats). We do not have this any more!! We have crumbling buildings. Buildings that beg developers to cut a deal, pay some baksheesh, declare a tear-down and build an atrocity. Take a ride up and down our little lanes. People who pay their rent stay on as dwellers. They are fiscally preferable to empty units priced too high. Many people who do NOT want to buy a house. (in case you noticed the American dream has ceased to exist). We need to try to maintain our failing integrity as a city and work for the people we claim to cherish in public.

    I would suggest that before we price WeHo out of the market, exacerbate traffic woes and find obscure events to celebrate, we use some of our surplus bizillions to pay for code enforcers who deal with owners and benefit tenants. To re-instate existing affordable units that draw tenants, not temporary dwellers. That we place some caps on hideous, look-alike buildings and their rents and clean up our act. Some council members find this a good idea. I commend them. Others, I suspect take cash.

    1. Well put. And with regard to code enforcement and maintaining the law, this City has more than enough money to throw at those problems. AirBnB ban? Enforce it, if you want it (go to AirBnB right now, and look for a place in the city limits to rent). Scooters on the sidewalks? Enforce state law about motorized vehicles on the sidewalk, instead of banning them. But if you are going to put in a ban, it means nothing without enforcement, and it is all for show. Gas-powered leaf blowers? They will continue to spew air and noise pollution, without code enforcement doing anything about it. Texting and driving? Means nothing, if the Sheriff’s department doesn’t write tickets. Bicycles on the sidewalk where they aren’t supposed to be? Means nothing without tickets being issued.

      These might seem like minor issues, comparatively, but my point is, laws mean nothing without enforcement.

  13. Back in 1984 we came together as a community because skyrocketing rents were forcing out long term tenants and threatened to change the nature of our unique community.

    Now thirty years later only those directly impacted by demolition or tenant harassment seemed to care about preserving West Hollywood’s stock of affordable housing. I am rather dismayed by the cavalier indifference of some of these comments to the plight of many of our neighbors. I know West Hollywood has changed but when we lose our sense of community then we lose our soul.

    We need to balance development to insure that we are not displacing the very people who gave West Hollywood its’ unique character. At the last Planning Commission meeting at least half the Commission said “Enough!”

    Steve Martin

  14. Affordable housing? You want that, you move to Barstow or Banning CA, etc., You get a roommate, you find a city that isn’t in high demand that doesn’t border some of the wealthiest zip codes in the world. We all pay more to live here. This is life.

    And when people move to other areas near here their rents go up to because the demand is there. See how this works. Silver Lake, Eagle Rock, etc. Now the demand moved over there too. But you can move to Inglewood and still live for less. So pick a city that isn’t destined to go up in value too quickly. Or try another state for that matter. Who doesn’t want to live where the weather is fantastic every day of the year? You have to pay for that luxury.

    1. Wow! Such empathy and compassion, especially towards those who have been evicted from their apartments via the despicable Ellis Act. These people did nothing wrong. They paid their rent. Some were in their residences for decades. Then they are kicked to the curb because their sin was their dwelling was rent stabilized. This is justice?

    2. Thank you, Steve Martin. No wonder the developers threw half a million dollars into the last election campaign of their ‘good friend’ Mr. Heilman – they’re afraid you’d actually get elected and they’d lose their 3rd vote on the Council.

  15. Ms. Blatt seems to have a dim view on housing:

    1. Rent Controlled Housing is not affordable housing. Rent Controlled Housing goes to market when the unit is vacant. Affordable units are permanently affordable.

    2. The City may own the lot at Crescent Heights but it does not own or control “abandoned” buildings throughout the City. And there are not so many “abandoned” buildings.

    3. Cynthia Blatt campaigned for the building at 826 N. Kings Road to be stripped of affordable housing so that it would be a smaller building. If she is so dedicated to housing why would she not want a few extra affordable housing next door for those in need?

    4. Now I know what my grandmother meant when she said: “And the farmer hauled another load away.”

  16. Welcome to supply and demand. Once again we border Beverly Hills with one of the highest median incomes in the world. This isn’t rocket science. If you can’t afford West Hollywood, join the club. I can’t so I work more. I could move much further East but chose not to. So I deal with it, or I eventually move. Nothing unique here. This is how economies work all over the USA.

    I love trees. But those ones on Spaulding do look diseased or in need of some attention. I do think it’s outrageous that a developer can get approved for condos and then just turn them into apartments and then boot everyone out to sell again as condos.

  17. Bravo!
    This is what many of us have been saying for a very long time. While the City Council makes a show of trying to get the developers to provide affordable rent-controlled units (and admittedly the Federal laws on development do NOT address the needs of West Hollywood) I find it difficult to wholly applaud the City Council, most of who receive significant re-election funds from those very developers.
    We need to find out what we, as citizens of West Hollywood, can DO about this increasingly catastrophic situation. What can we do to be heard above the ringing of the Developers’ cash registers?
    If we don’t do something soon, West Hollywood will not be the welcoming city, or the diverse city, or a safe haven for those fleeing hatred and discrimination, but a city only “of the Rich, by the Rich, for the Rich”.

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