Letters to the Editor: Landlords sparked L.A.’s overcrowding crisis. They got an assist from leaders of the rental housing lobby.
The Los Angeles Times has done a good job of covering the housing crisis in this city. But in doing so, the paper has helped to set the stage for what many are calling the nation’s largest municipal crisis of gentrification and displacement.
The Times has a big role in helping to exacerbate the problem by its publication of articles about new construction only in low-income and minority neighborhoods, and by its failure to cover the many thousands on the waiting lists for rental housing, many of whose units are now being taken by gentrifiers, who are buying up the homes of the many who are displaced by the ongoing crisis.
In my view, the Times’ coverage of the housing crisis has been irresponsible and counterproductive. It is contributing to what may be the most vicious and costly urban gentrification project in the U.S., and one that has already begun in my neighborhood of Boyle Heights.
It is a project that I, and thousands of other residents of this once-bustling neighborhood, have suffered through. Many have been forced from their homes.
The Times and other big-media outlets have been giving the green light to a project that has already started to wreak untold havoc among a community that already feels like it has been ripped out of its original context by the forces of the City of Los Angeles.
To take just one example, my mother lived at 3100 West 16th Street for almost 40 years without interruption until a developer and his wife moved into the building in 2008.
That was the end of her lease. My brothers and I were stunned that a developer could even imagine taking possession of a building that has been in the family for so long, but we were glad that they hadn’t.
The Times and other outlets have also covered well-intended but in my view, misguided efforts by some to encourage more housing developments in certain neighborhoods, such as the North Hollywood area, in large part because they believe that this will give the city a leg up in the competition for the millions