DEAR WEHO 📫 You’re failing us renters

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Are the Cities of West Hollywood and Beverly Hills Westwood/UCLA becoming the smaller city versions of what Cambridge and neighboring affluent Boston neighborhoods in Massachusetts failed to do or failed to maintain affordable housing two decades ago?! Is LA County the New Middlesex and Suffolk Counties? I am from New England originally, let me be clear it is much worse than LA county when it comes to renter protections. That why I moved back to California. Some cities have but have since failed with enhancing Rent Control. Boston and New England have failed with international and coastal appeal! sound familiar, LA county is the Southern California New England equivalent!However our housing laws only protected units built 45 years ago and were built before city incorporation 39 years and started the process going on 40 years ago! This is the issue why the city was founded to begin with, The Housing Crisis of the 1970’s and 1980’s, that straights and gays alike couldn’t afford WEHO from Four decades ago! Let’s not blame Costa Hawkins as the sole or only reason of rent control housing losses; when we all know that is or was an excuse or avoidance for the City of West Hollywood and other neighboring cities and LA County to admit the truth that this city and region’s abject failure to ensure resident protections!Even before the Homeless Epidemic got exacerbated from a decade ago, The State of California and Countywide faced an ominous Housing Crisis and the State of California Department of Housing Development has finally admitted this fact! California Governor Newsom and Sacramento now mandates West Hollywood and Beverly Hills must build or provide and meet a quota of 3,100-3200 low income units respectively by 2029, which is only 5 years from now, and the City Santa Monica must build and or provide 7,500 units. Combined that is 13,500!Now the California Department of Housing and Community Development and California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s office are looking to investigate the alleged antics and stubbornness and adamant procrastination and about face, indignation or continued stonewalling of some cities adopting comprehensive housing elements! Remember Housing element updates and Regional Housing Needs Assessments were required since 2009-2010. So this law has been implemented and required for the last 15 years!To note as published in articles or alluded to by news sources like local WehoOnline, Wehotimes, The Beverly Press, The Beverly Hills Courier, LA Magazine, The LA Times, The Valley News and The Malibu Times, and the Santa Monica Daily Press, just to name a few publications, that affluent communities of Malibu, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, La Cañada Flintridge and Beverly Hills, Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach or developers who have failed to implement in LA county and City of LA communities like Woodland Hills, Venice, Marina Del Rey, Del Rey, and Playa Vista, failed to provide low income housing or failed to submit and provide accurate RHNA numbers. Furthermore, when it came  to incorporated cities, a comprehensive, inclusionary and acceptable Housing Element formula to the State of California that has summarily rejected their multiple unsatisfactory proposals and face legal consequences. I would be remiss not to provide a point of information that West Hollywood itself had to re-submit to the state on 2 occasions before the city’s proposal was under review and conditionally accepted!Moreover, with the advent and the invitation of AirBnb’s and short term rentals into this city‘s rental market, the lack of local agency enforcement towards illegal practices of short term and corporate rentals, and the indifferent or lack of governing municipal oversight allowed housing discrimination, price gouging and inflating rents and other rental violations and abuses to keep occurring these past 2 decades!Housing and rent manipulation to increased by market rate rent prices Los Angeles County’s westside affluent neighborhoods, enabled and was left to the devices and interpretations of corrupt developers, state and city lobbyists and realtors and real estate brokers and landlords that got away with this due to non codified rental laws in city municipal codes and bylaws! Along with ineptitude and lazy code enforcement that allowed landlord greed to continue and illegal evictions and illegal short sales and equity stripping that brought upon the onset of decimation of rent control in the City West Hollywood all together—is the real culprit!Like Cambridge and Boston, Most of West Hollywood to BeverlyHills and Westwood and Century City housing units and rental stock became unavailable and unattainable to many or unaffordable and unviable for residents priced out due to the cause and effect of lax rent control protections!Does this sound familiar for us in this city over the past decade?! Then and Now, higher income residents benefiting from lower rents at one time and now the decimation brought on by gentrification and Short Term Rentals! Look at affluent communities of Cambridge and Boston losing housing stock and diminishing  of affordable units, section 8, and rent controlled units. West Hollywood and Beverly Hills and Westwood have become a smaller populated versions of Cambridge and affluent neighborhoods of Boston!Today fixed income residents are being displaced year after year or have to or realistically must compete to get selected from limited affordable housing lotteries, while long term residents remain in place in their rent control units for decades on end when they moved to West Hollywood 20-30 years ago when rents were low and are now approaching a zenith of inflated high priced unaffordable rental units catered to higher income earning single (gay and straight) to double income households! Now as West Hollywood approaches its 40 years of incorporation, it has lost what it’s main ideals and mindset and resident protections were of existing fixed income residents from 30-40 years ago!As a 13 year resident of West Hollywood I was priced out of Westwood Los Angeles and Santa Monica 19 years ago back in 2005. I couldn’t afford the Greater Boston area either when trying to return to college where many state colleges were refusing in state tuitions. That’s why I had to leave Westwood and Westside never Mind moving into Weho 20 years ago!Ironically, some of my family relatives moved to Los Angeles county to Alhambra CA back in the 1950’s relocating from Massachusetts and Rhode Island and all I have to remain here in West Hollywood, is to live frugal, spend half my income on a fixed income affordable unit that has minor rent increases, that took me 10 years to finally get my name called from 2008-2018, and to wait for another one to come up in 5-10 years with already living in my second unit in Weho for the past for 6 years.My name on the county affordable list for an affordable unit in West Hollywood took 14 years from 2008-2022, and my application almost got denied due to agency error and eventually I decided to opt out due to agency bureaucracy and file mismanagement!In Reality, 20-25 years ago, Los Angeles County both incorporated and unincorporated cities and Greater LA neighborhoods and the City of Los Angeles as a whole caused a housing crisis and gentrification in the late 80’s to mid 2000’s just like Cambridge did in the 1970’s to 1990’s due to their version protection repeals and reversals or rent controls by the very people and locals who benefited from such laws!Now those same exact people are wanting to capitalize on the low costs of home and condo ownership decades ago to appreciation of properties 10 fold, to the current day desirability of higher income residents and prospective tenants and temporary residents displacing existing low income fixed income and economically disadvantaged residents over the last four decades!From James ( JamieFrancis13 year low income/ fixed income resident of West Hollywood.Read the article below.https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2023/12/13/rent-control-cambridge-feature/#:~:text=Rent%20control%20policies%20—%20which%20regulate,a%20ballot%20initiative%20in%201994

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Queers for Palestine
Queers for Palestine
3 months ago

Renter Control does not matter. Taxes must be raised so far-left racism can thrive. City Council will go to France soon to meet the Olympic Committee… and prepare for 2028. Who is paying for this? Not long term residence who rely on rent control…. They don’t count. Yet, WeHO voted for these Council Members….

Stevie
Stevie
4 months ago

You failed yourself, improve yourself to earn a living where you want to live or stop whining brittney.

Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
4 months ago

Don’t worry, West Hollywood is failing everybody. It’s a failed city.

gdaddy
gdaddy
4 months ago

I don’t know what people expect…if you don’t have the money, live somewhere you can afford? It shouldn’t be anyone’s responsibility to pay your rent other than yourself. My building the rent can’t go up more than inflation or 3%…whatever is less. There are people in the same apartment for 30-40 years in my building paying half of market rate. I swear some will never be happy…

John Smith
John Smith
4 months ago

Rents are based on the free market. If the rates were too high they’d come down.

There’s no guarantee to live where you wish. Where do these ideas come from?

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
4 months ago
Reply to  John Smith

You’re not aware of how this city was founded?

Where do these people come from?

John Smith
John Smith
4 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

I wasn’t aware that WH was a communist project. You must have some evidence of your claim.

Jake
Jake
4 months ago
Reply to  John Smith

I agree with you 100%!

Edie
Edie
4 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

I’m guessing wealthy globalist families.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
4 months ago
Reply to  John Smith

They come from freeloaders who want others to pay their way. They want upscale neighborhoods to turn into big shelters for everyone. Successful people should be rewarded with living in nice areas They choose to pay to live in.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
4 months ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

“Successful people” most of them being luckily born into wealth lol.

A minority of the people have made it out of lower income or impoverished communities..

gdaddy
gdaddy
4 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

That’s a different discussion than low income housing. The world doesn’t work in a way that anyone can live anywhere they want. There are good places people can live that are more affordable, provide a solid education and offer the opportunity to get out of poverty. Getting handouts in WeHo, one of the most expensive areas in the U.S., isn’t going to do it…

Edie
Edie
4 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

100% The entitled global elite. They love how the U.S. works now. A trickle up economy. Taking money fro the working and middle class, and subsidizing the employees of the wealthy developers, etc.

More needs to be done!
More needs to be done!
4 months ago

I’m priced out of Malibu, Brentwood, Westwood, Beverly Hills, Bel Air…and I agree, cities needs to do more…I demand to live in a more affluent neighborhood even though I can’t afford it! It’s really ridiculous that I can’t live where I want to live.

Alan Strasburg
Alan Strasburg
4 months ago

West Hollywood is Southern California’s Petri dish. Ask Danielle Wilson at Unite Here what she’s doing about housing for workers at the Hotel Bel Air.

Peter Buckley
Peter Buckley
4 months ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

Yes that’s the problem. Meanwhile why do we still even have a planning department or in fact any zoning or permit process. Hiding behind state laws, building regulations after this weeks fiasco are clearly now redundant.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
4 months ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

Improving their wages and benefits literally is doing something for their housing.

Do you live in a rent controlled apartment, Alan?

BloodshotEyedGuy
BloodshotEyedGuy
4 months ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

Do the Unite Here workers expect to live in penthouse suites like the bus drivers who shuttled Silicon Valley CEOs from their homes to work? Remember when those shuttle drivers up north put up a stink because they were envious of the CEOs they picked up because they had nicer homes? Google it.

Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
Harambe's Vengeful Ghost
4 months ago
Reply to  Alan Strasburg

Well, Al, you don’t bite the hand that feeds. Bel Air has far too many wealthy progressive elites using these union thugs to do their bidding to impoverish the unchosen and send us down to the great unwashed.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
4 months ago

I’m priced out of Monaco so i have to settle for weho. We all wish we could live somewhere more expensive than we can afford. People who should be living in rural Bakersfield get to live in weho cause we are a communist state that seizes private property rights.

J C
J C
4 months ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

I find it traitorous that WeHo has the Landlords backs over the renters backs, the landlords make up less than 1% of WeHo’s population (most don’t even reside in WeHo) whereas the renters make up the rest of the population (other than people who own their homes). For my rent to go up $100 per month every year gives the landlord a cost of living raise of over $10,000.00 every decade and me a cost of living penalty of $10,000.00 every decade. Why does the landlord deserve a raise over me? Their taxes can’t go up, their interest rate can’t… Read more »

Larry Block
4 months ago
Reply to  J C

The taxes always go up, the maintenance always goes up, the interest rate on commercial loans will rise with rising interest rates, and the wages go up. If you live in cheapest market rate unit in weho, a 1bed at about 700k, the property taxes alone on that is 10,000$ per year, – or abotu 800plus per month, just the tax.

J C
J C
4 months ago
Reply to  Larry Block

My landlords maintenance hasn’t gone up over $99 in 10 years, his fixed interest rate has not gone up, his grandfathered taxes have not gone up. Weird how it’s the exact opposite of what you’ve said.

Larry Block
4 months ago
Reply to  J C

In 2014, ten years ago the minimum wage was $10, today is its more than $20 with benefits. You statement that your landlords maintenance has not gone up in ten years is wrong. It takes one day of labor for one person to make up that $99 dollar difference. In fact, every bill in your landlords string of expenses has went up, from taxes, taxes and rates on gas and electric, seismic retrofit costs, interest rates, and more. Your statement is ignorant of the facts.

J C
J C
4 months ago
Reply to  Larry Block

I think you don’t understand my thought process. Let’s say in the year 2024 you want a place to rent in Weho and it’s $3333 per month that both you and the landlord agree to, fine, all for it, if you can’t afford it don’t whine, but the landlord doesn’t deserve an increase any more than we the renter deserves a decrease, it was already agreed upon. Now perhaps a contract saying locked in for X amount of years and then revisit it then to where it may go higher if mutually agreed upon or lower if mutually agreed upon… Read more »

Edie
Edie
4 months ago
Reply to  Larry Block

Sorry but you are just wrong. First of all few building have hourly maintenance people. Most people landlords use are by the job. I guarantee you gardeners have not doubled their wages in the last 10 years. All other people are contracted as needed. And the landlord is not paying an hourly wage.

Larry Block
4 months ago
Reply to  Edie

I cant be wrong when people took to the public comment podium to ask for an exemption. There are many different types of buildings, landlords, and services and while it may not affect all buildings to say it does not affect any is absolutely wrong. My friend owns a cleaning company that cleans the hallways, – he now has to pay the difference. His rates went up to the building owner. Somebody is paying.

Edie
Edie
4 months ago
Reply to  Larry Block

But he doesn’t use a cleaning company everyday. Some of what he has to pay may go up, but there is no way he is paying double. Besides I’m sure the rent increases far exceed the increase he’s paying out. I would be glad to look at his bookkeeping. And if I am wrong, I will admit it.

Larry Block
4 months ago
Reply to  Edie

To be honest, his books are none of your business. The books will only show a snapshot of time. If he has never refinanced his load then he cannot be considered a greedy monopolist, if he refinanced and bought another property he is smart. You should think about how you can improve your lot in life, and how you can create revenue streams so that you do not need to live in your landlords property. And, quite frankly, I’ll bet you would have a hard time finding a similar place at the same price. You might want to send him… Read more »

Edie
Edie
4 months ago
Reply to  J C

Same with my landlord.

Edie
Edie
4 months ago
Reply to  Larry Block

Not in my building. He’s still being taxed at what he bought it for in 1976. And he literally does almost zero maintenance. Just a crappy gardner that come out and blows dirt around for about 20 minutes a couple times a month.

Larry Block
4 months ago
Reply to  Edie

you have no idea if the property has been refinanced or what the landlord payments are. Your are calling your landlord entitled but your living on his property at below market rent.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
4 months ago
Reply to  J C

Actually, the landlords deserve a “raise” cause they risked money to invest. You risked nothing, when you put your hand out, looking for from stuff from more successful people.

J C
J C
4 months ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

They don’t deserve a raise. Shame on them if they deem the risk too risky. Otherwise they negotiated a profit upfront. If WeHo made them lower that already agreed upon price after the fact I would have the landlords side on this. It is like going to a car dealer and signing up for payments of $599 a month and then the bank changes the payments every year higher. That’s not what was agreed upon.

Edie
Edie
4 months ago
Reply to  J C

Good point!

Edie
Edie
4 months ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

Buying property in California is not a risk. It’s a luxury that the global elite have worked hard at keeping the rest of us from achieving.

Edie
Edie
4 months ago
Reply to  J C

Yeah… and most of them inherited the property. Never do any upgrades. Just the bare minimum. My landlord bought his entire property for 75k in 1976. I have paid 3 times that in the rent I’ve paid. Screw greedy landlords. The majority of them are lazy and entitled and live off the hard work of the tenants they milk to death.

greeneyedguy
greeneyedguy
4 months ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

And yet you continue to make a hefty profit from this “communist state” off of your “stupid renters” (your words, not mine)

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
4 months ago
Reply to  greeneyedguy

Actually, I referred to renters as “morons”. I’ve never thought or said renters are stupid. Maybe don’t misquote people.

J C
J C
4 months ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

Care to explain the difference between moron and stupid because they are pretty synonymous with one another to the majority of people

Edie
Edie
4 months ago
Reply to  J C

Moron is an exact Synonym of stupid.
From Thesaurus . com

morons
noun
Definition of morons


plural of moron as in idiots
a stupid person

J C
J C
4 months ago

You’re looking at it backwards, do you love big government? Love landlords? I find it traitorous that WeHo has the Landlords backs over the renters backs, the landlords make up less than 1% of WeHo’s population (most don’t even reside in WeHo) whereas the renters make up the rest of the population (other than people who own their homes). For my rent to go up $100 per month every year gives the landlord a cost of living raise of over $10,000.00 every decade and me a cost of living penalty of $10,000.00 every decade. Why does the landlord deserve a… Read more »

Larry Block
4 months ago
Reply to  J C

Weho has the strictest rules on landlords, demands and fees, than any other municipality. Weho consistently has the ‘renters backs’ and the landlords absorb the fees or sell. Even rent increases are mandated by the government, no the landlord.

J C
J C
4 months ago
Reply to  Larry Block

Me thinks you’re a landlord Mr. Block

Larry Block
4 months ago
Reply to  J C

sorry im a commercial tenant paying the CAM charges for two retail spaces and a single family homeowner paying property tax, for our sewers and roads and schools. I know you expect alot and blame your landlord for the cost of rent but maybe you should learn more about what it cost to maintain a property and deal with tenants like you who think its an easy business.

J C
J C
4 months ago
Reply to  Larry Block

You are confusing and conflating residential rent versus commercial rent. 2 different things and not what this article is about, stay in your commercial lane. Write a commercial article. Apples and oranges. (I actually own a home elsewhere so I understand home ownership, paying taxes for roads and sewers and 85% of it goes to the school district and I don’t have kids, sucks but my taxes don’t go up, if your taxes go up you can appeal).

Last edited 4 months ago by J C
Queers for Palestine
Queers for Palestine
3 months ago
Reply to  Larry Block

West Hollywood was founded by Russian Jewish immigrants; and flourished. There was a balance between socialism and capitalism. Far left ideology is not business friendly. It is not friendly to anyone other than diverting blame, using pronouns, and blaming Israel. It is the same ideology of the KKK – without the hoods. Byers, Sephi and Erickson don’t care about rent control or businesses – they care about ideology. They care about running for Congress, Instagram likes, and perhaps, getting donations from Quatar or foreign entities who want to destroy democracy.

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