Preserve Existing Housing. Protect Our Diversity!
Our City is not adaptively re-using existing housing as we should. Instead, we demolish existing businesses and small apartment houses in favor of large, box-like apartment structures that few of our current residents could afford to live in. We have chased out the vibrant, diverse population that this City once possessed and have turned over our community to "transitory" tenants instead. We are not cultivating generations of families that will enrich our community. Instead, we attract temporary collections of roommates, splitting the rent on their high-cost, minuscule dwellings each month, who most likely will not establish their lives longterm in Santa Monica.
Our neighborhoods get dumped on. SMC's need for foreign student housing has drawn landlords in the Pico neighborhood to seek out foreign nationals because this provides a new cycle of tenants each year. Thereby the landlords circumvent traditional rent control. Apartment owners receive letters each week begging them to sell and offering high sales prices. While the run on housing is good for owners it is devastating to our renters, our seniors, and the remaining working class members of our town. AirBnB's and corporate housing have become additional ways for landlords and home owners to outsmart rent control protections that were studiously put into place to protect our residents of lesser means.
It's not too late to protect the most vulnerable among us. Seniors need to be able to stay in place. Our diversity must be enhanced, not destroyed. We don't want to become a seedier version of Newport Beach. We want to be a proud Santa Monica that has a diverse population of all economic classes and ages.