Housing Issues In Los Angeles

 Sky view of South Los Angeles photo taken by the LA Curbed.

By Emily Rodriguez and Julia Zenteno

Housing issues in Los Angeles are becoming more prominent because of gentrification in low income communities and the ongoing global pandemic; This then displaces many lower income families and people of color.

A current event commonly being discussed is COVID-19 and how it has impacted society. Although the virus has had an impact and worsened so many situations like housing in Los Angeles, housing issues existed beforehand and are progressively getting worse.
One of the greatest issues that has contributed to poor housing is gentrification. Gentrification is when a poor urban area is being changed by wealthier people and they revamp the community.

Poor urban areas primarily house minorities. Minorities are statistically poorer than cis-white people and therefore don’t have much power when gentrification is occuring.

When businesses see that the community is “improving”, looks cleaner, and appears put together, it motivates businesses to want to place their stores there which increases the prices of living in a certain area.

Gentrification then results in more expensive housing (whether you’re buying or renting) and people are no longer able to afford housing.

South Los Angeles is not only heavily populated but it is also heavily targeted because it is one of the poorest cities in Los Angeles. This can result in many of its residents becoming homeless or have to relocate unwillingly.

First photo taken in the mid 1970’s compared to the same spot in the 2000’s.

An article by L.A. Curbed stated “Low-income renters are the Angelenos most vulnerable to displacement. Although my husband and I previously rented, our steady paychecks and job stability afforded us options when it came down to choosing a new neighborhood. That’s not an advantage shared by many others in LA.”
There are many people like this author who can still manage to afford living in Los Angeles despite the increasing prices but this does not apply to the majority of Los Angeles residents.

COVID-19 has created housing issues in Los Angeles because residents are being laid off from work and are not able to afford rent.

Our relative has decided to anonymously share her experience with housing issues in Los Angeles, during a pandemic. “It’s been extremely difficult… we {her and her husband] were told we had to leave our home but it was difficult in the beginning. We were staying at a family member’s home while we were finding a permanent place to live and after a couple of months we finally found [something]. It was hard to set up meetings because of social distancing but eventually we found something that worked,” they said.

While the residents ultimately had a success story, that’s not always the case. Looking for a new home, especially during these difficult times, can lead to much more negative outcomes.

Whether it is over homes or businesses, prices in Los Angeles are drastically increasing. Los Angeles has one of the largest populations of low income families and low income people of color.

This is causing many of these families to have to find somewhere else to live, even though Los Angeles is their home. This also drastically affects the homeless population.

The lower class cannot afford to get back on their feet because the cost of living is rising, while wages are staying the same. Gentrification is keeping the rich rich and the poor poor. You can find more information on this at https://la.curbed.com/2017/7/28/16053522/gentrification-los-angeles-examples-inglewood-cons.