The City of L.A. Helped Me Get Back on Top

Letters to the Editor: Landlords sparked L.A.’s overcrowding crisis. They got an assist from leaders of the neighborhood.

The writer was on the front lines of the city’s crowded rental housing crisis.

For years I have been fighting to save my own home from imminent demolition to make way for a monstrous housing project, one of many in L.A.’s gentrifying suburbs.

I am a retired teacher in a Los Angeles suburb where the median household income is $53,000 a year. I have been an active member of a neighborhood organization since 1984, when I moved here.

It was the first community group I joined in my career and the first one I left. For years we fought to save two historic homes in my neighborhood from demolition.

In March of this year, we successfully persuaded the city to reverse a plan to demolish our home and bulldoze five homes in an adjacent district. The city also offered me $100,000 of the estimated $200,000 it would cost to buy my neighborhood if I would agree to move. I am a widow now with two teenage sons. I did not have a choice.

I never thought I would say this: The mayor’s office of the L.A. City Council has helped me get back on top. I now occupy a nice single-story single-family home with a yard and an indoor pool. Last week the city put my home up for rent at $2,500 for a two-year lease.

The city has been kind to me ever since. In one year we will have to move to make way for the proposed housing complex and the new housing project that is next door.

When I moved here my neighborhood was a place of peace and quiet. It had no gangs, had not felt the drug gangs from the streets of L.A. and was a place of tolerance and diversity. It was a community of good neighbors who loved each other.

But now, with the real estate development, the new housing project, the new schools, the new churches and the new grocery stores, the neighborhood is in chaos.

A new city of people, many with low incomes, live in my neighborhood. It is called the “hipster district,”

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