On March 7, Los Angeles voters will have the opportunity to vote for or against a two-year moratorium on thousands of real estate development projects in the City of Los Angeles.
“Whenever you gentrify by building luxury towers, the lesser units around it go up in price,” Michael Weinstein, who heads the Measure S campaign, told Southern California Public Radio (SCPR). “They don’t go down in price.”
Weinstein is also the president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Hollywood, which has campaigned in recent years for mandated condom use in pornographic films. He reportedly said new luxury buildings in Los Angeles would only drive up costs for many of his clients, who can barely afford to live in the city as it is.
Opponents argue that Measure S will only stifle the city’s growing housing demand and might even result in even higher rents.
The Los Angeles Times reported on several misleading mailers sent by Measure S proponents.
“One deceptive mailer says Yes on S will ‘house our vets.’ But Measure S does nothing to help homeless veterans,” wrote the Times. “In fact, ‘S’ would make it harder to build housing for homeless vets because it would impose a two-year moratorium on real estate projects that require a zone change, a height increase or an amendment of the city’s General Plan.”
The Times notes another mailer falsely claims Measure S “will protect existing rent-controlled housing from developers who want to tear down perfectly good affordable units to make room for their luxury housing projects.” SCPR reported on an analysis of Ellis Act evictions, conducted by the Times between 2011 and 2015, which found that Measure S would not have been able to stop roughly 90 percent of the developments that replaced the rent-controlled buildings.
A third mailer is reportedly crafted to look like an “eviction notice”. However, “Measure S does not address evictions,” notes the Times.
L.A.’s population topped the 4 million mark in 2016 after having gained more than 50,000 people over the course of one year— a growth rate of 1.3 percent. The city has enjoyed a building boom but still has relatively low home ownership rates.
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