The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Los Angeles:
Crumbs for Affordable Housing

Nov 9, 2015

Los Angeles County supervisors voted in October to set up a fund to construct and maintain affordable housing. They will start funding this project with 20 million dollars next year. Supposedly they will be spending 100 million dollars in five years.

These officials must be joking. This is very little money to construct buildings–even if you believe their promises.

Rents are sky high in Los Angeles, increased by nearly 30 percent within the last 15 years, while the incomes of lower income households have declined by seven percent. The average rent in December 2014 was around $1,900 for a two bedroom apartment within 10 miles of the Los Angeles city center.

As a result, people move out of Los Angeles and some become homeless. A study released this August by the Economic Roundtable indicates that 13,000 more people are forced into the streets each month in Los Angeles because of housing costs. Los Angeles, with a population of more than 10 million people in 2014, has one of the highest rates of homelessness in the U.S.

According to one Los Angeles County Supervisor, Hilda Solis: “We know that we have a need to somehow deliver 500,000 more affordable homes here. That is amazing.” But, reserving only 20 million dollars for funding affordable housing is not amazing. It’s outrageous!

This city is one of the richest cities in the world. Los Angeles County has a total annual budget of 28 BILLION dollars. The city supervisors spend this money to satisfy the needs of the rich, through schemes like tax cuts, inflated contracts, and shoddy bond and loan deals. This is their priority–not housing for the population.