When I took this photo of a homeless man sweeping the sidewalk in front of his tent, I realized that the homeless are not all druggies and criminals. Other experiences I had – such as the man who ran up to me and asked that I not publish his photo as he was trying to get back on his feet after job/home loss and didn’t want his plight public – taught me that the homeless are quite frequently people who got caught in the squeeze between diminishing incomes and soaring rents.
I have blogged about this a few times, but an article I saw today in LA Weekly regarding protests against LA rental abuses prompted me to blog about it again. According to the article the LA Tenant’s Union is organizing a series of protests against staggering rent increases being pushed down to tenants and evictions that are being conducted simply as a means of skirting rent control laws and other abuses by property owners.
I didn’t used to get involved in these types of issues, but since arriving in Los Angeles two years ago I have found the situation something that approaches the lack of rights found in third world countries. I suggest if you have been faced with unfair rent increase, unlawful or unjustified evictions or other abuses that you check the schedule of rent protests and attend. Info on the Days of Rage Rent Protests is here.
I urge you to visit the websites above to get full info and show your support or you could be the next to move into one of these new homes.
This situation is very real. I wrote about it in a post called That LA Construction Boom where I pointed out that the construction boom has created a paradox in LA where the new residential units in LA sit empty as so few can qualify to rent them (an income of $85k year is required to qualify to rent the cheapest of the new apartments!) while nothing is being developed to fill the housing needs of those in the average income bracket for Los Angeles (about $35k year) and what the city could to to resolve this problem… if they cared. Truth is LA does NOT have a housing shortage, it has a surplus of empty rental units no one can afford!
In another post I wrote about how LA evictions are soaring as landlords find ways to evict tenants to get out from under rent controls…
And after seeing ads for the most grossly overpriced “minimalistic housing” I created this video to show just what people are getting for their rental dollar in LA!.