Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Homelessness in Los Angeles - L.A. Times articles of June 5 and 6

If you read the L.A. Times, you know that our homelessness issue is growing.  It rose 12% from this same time last year. This is in spite of all propositions that we voted on to tax ourselves to stop it.  This is in spite of it being the #1 issue that Los Angeles currently faces.  I wrote the following to the L.A. Times today about my idea for a solution.

Dear L.A. Times editors: This solution to much of L.A.’s homeless problem will seem counter-intuitive: stop building.  Stop permitting smaller, older rental units from being torn down for up-zoned, expensive mid-rise condos.  Subsidize the owners and landlords of the pre-1970 apartment buildings, bungalow courts and tenant hotels so they can afford to keep these units affordable to lower-income people. Otherwise, these smaller landlords will lose income if they don’t sell to developers. 

Yes, some of the chronic homeless will still be on the street.  But a lot of non-chronic homeless will be able to afford roofs over their heads (these older, smaller units are where many lived in the first place).  And, this solution will be cheaper for the city/county than building units at $500,000 a pop.

For those who say we must build the high-density city of the future, (HDIMBYs?) I say let’s solve the issues we have before we plan for the future that a lot of L.A. residents may never see.

By the way, I am a real estate broker who has everything to gain by having more expensive inventory to sell.  But I’m also an L.A. citizen who lives among this growing, tragic homelessness problem.

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