Since 2001, nearly 13,000 evictions (nearly 9,000 evictions since 2005) have occurred as a result of affordable rental housing units in Los Angeles being demolished or converted to condos, and the trend is escalating. In 2004, 1,261 units were lost; last year, 5,273. At its current pace, the 2006 figure will be higher. The city is working to add affordable housing, but it is losing as many such units. Meanwhile, most of its low-income tenants are evicted to make way for market-rate housing.
But growing numbers are calling for immediate action to stop – or least strongly discourage – developers from buying rent-controlled buildings for demolition and condo construction. Grassroots movements and civil society have been demonstrating and urging the City Council to enact an immediate moratorium on condo conversions and housing demolition to enable the time to develop and ordinance to protect tenants and affordable housing.
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