clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

West Hollywood residents want more affordable housing—but not more apartments

New, 22 comments

More than half don’t want new multi-family buildings in their neighborhoods

Rob Rovira/Curbed LA flickr pool

A new survey finds that West Hollywood residents have conflicting ideas about housing, reports WeHoville.

Many are concerned about a lack of affordable housing. But they’re also opposed to building new multi-family housing and don’t equate adding new units to producing affordable housing.

That’s at odds with what many economists and urban planners say. Research has found that building more housing—even if it is market-rate—does eventually create more affordable units and that building denser housing can help make up for years of under-building in California.

The survey was conducted in November 2016, drawing responses from more than 1,300 West Hollywood residents.

In response to the findings, officials with the city’s rent stabilization and housing department are expected to present the City Council tonight with a number of recommendations, including offering developers incentives to build shorter projects and limiting the height of buildings in the certain residential-zoned districts to three stories tall.

Close to half of all respondents—45 percent—opposed building new multi-unit housing in West Hollywood when asked initially. (They were asked again at the end of the survey, and the breakdown remained about the same.)

More than half, or 56 percent, of all respondents said they were against building new multi-family housing in their neighborhoods.

The survey also found that almost three out of four respondents agreed there was not enough housing that was both affordable for them and for low-income residents.

The majority, or 73 percent, supported providing more affordable housing in West Hollywood.

But 51 percent of respondents disagreed that building new apartments or condos creates more affordable housing options. Quite the opposite, in fact: 67 percent of all survey-takers said building new multi-family pushes out existing residents and makes way for new, richer residents.

The divisions of opinion differed most strongly according to the respondent’s age, WeHoville notes. Forty percent of residents between the ages of 40 and 64 said the city’s “look and feel” has gotten worse. Only 10 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 29 agreed.