Los Angeles home to the largest population of homeless residents: The cost of Rental Armageddon leads to L.A. having 20,000 homeless residents.

The high cost of housing has bigger consequences than simply seeing $700,000 crap shacks littering the landscape.  People are spending large portions of their money on rents and also mortgage payments.  Los Angeles leads the way in both of these categories.  The typical renter in Los Angeles spends nearly 50 percent of their income on paying the rent.  We are number one in this category.  The typical home buyer is spending roughly 40 percent of their income on mortgage payments.  We are in the top 3 in this category (San Francisco leads the way).  Of course many people can’t keep up.  Alternatives include the 2.3 million adults living at home with parents.  The other option is leaving the state to places like Texas.  And for others, you simply fall through the gentrification cracks.  Los Angeles leads the nation with the highest homeless population.  The problem is only getting worse.  Since 2013 as home values went up, the sheer number of people living on the streets has increased by 10 percent.  The mayor even declared a state of emergency and announced a $100 million plan for dealing with the problem.  That is a drop in the bucket unfortunately.  The housing crisis has wider problems than merely overpriced stucco boxes.

The homeless population in Los Angeles

Many people think of the homeless in Los Angeles as being confined merely to Skid Row.  Skid Row is the designated area in Downtown Los Angeles populated by many homeless residents.  However, there is now growing homeless populations in Venice, Studio City, Highland Park, and Santa Monica.  The challenge of course is the reality that rents are outpacing any real income gains.

There is some interesting data to look at.  For example, in the 1960s on Skid Row there were 10,000 affordable housing units, SROs (single-room occupancy hotels).  By the 1980s there were only 6,700 units.  Today, there is only 3,600 SRO units.  Part of this has come with the gentrifying of Downtown Los Angeles.

skid row

Skid Row is made up of 50 city blocks or 0.4 square miles.  The area is east of the Downtown Historic Core and the high-rise district of Bunker Hill.  But this is only one part of where the homeless problem is hitting.  Take a look at Studio City:

“(Studio City Patch) Studio City is a lovely community. I have been a resident of Studio City for 20 years. The neighborhood has changed quite a bit with construction always going on but the city remains a community.

The homeless residents of Studio City are on the rise. Many of the people have had bad luck with the unstable economy. Others are common homeless people we have all seen.

The important thing to remember is they are still human beings. We can close our eyes and ignore the problem or we can be kind and open our hearts somehow.

It has been brought to my attention a homeless man was evicted from his Studio City rental home of 19 years. The city took possession of his belongings and he now walks around with a cart trying to survive each day.”

According to Zillow, the typical home price for Studio City is $849,250.  The big challenge of course is coming from rising rents:

studio city rents

In the last four years alone, rents are up 30 percent in Studio City.  How are people affording this?  Well the answer is that Angelinos spend the largest amount of income on rentals.  It would be one thing if incomes were keeping up with rent increases but they are not.  Some say “well something has to give” but that is already happening.  We’ve been highlighting the changes over many years:

-People doubling and tripling up living like sardines

-Adults moving back home with mom and dad (2.3 million and growing)

-People are leaving the state to cheaper places like Texas for over a decade

-Wealthy foreigners are buying up large amounts of property in highly desirable areas (i.e., San Marino, San Francisco, etc)

-People are spending a larger amount of their net stagnant income on rents and mortgage payments

-Low interest rates keep home values artificially high

-People are on the edge obviously with the homeless population now reaching a record

-Tech/stock money boosting prices (we’ve been on a 6-year bull run – although 2015 is slowing down)

In sharp contrast, you have other folks renting out gorgeous homes for rent and turning them into party locations:

“(Beverly Press) A neighbor’s house near Sandy Martin’s home on Mulholland Drive turned into a veritable gambling casino for more than three months. People arrived late, played into the early morning and there was full “military security,” she said.

They brought hookers, who were very nice, and they would leave in the morning by limo,” Martin said. “But the noise at the house at night is too loud. They open up all the doors and everyone can hear it. I don’t care if they have a party, but if it’s after 11 p.m. or midnight, they wake me up with the noise.”

“They’re running a business in the neighborhood — this is a business,” she said. “My neighbor gets $15,000 or $20,000 a week. Does he pay taxes [on that]? What does he do with the money? He’s making a business.”

This is the end result of squeezing out of the middle class for the state.  Welcome to the new face of SoCal housing.

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83 Responses to “Los Angeles home to the largest population of homeless residents: The cost of Rental Armageddon leads to L.A. having 20,000 homeless residents.”

  • Thenumbersneverlie

    I’m astonished at the elevated number of homeless in the past 10 years. What’s so remarkable is how it has spread throughout Southern California and it is no longer confined to “skid row”. There are homeless communities popping up all over. The overpass at N. Alvarado St. in Echo Park is now a small neighborhood of homeless. The Homeless are everywhere and cities tolerate it because what recourse do they have? I always laugh when I watch “First Blood” because they charge him with vagrancy.

    Another thing I find is panhandling on virtually every freeway exit ramp in Los Angeles. Sometimes there are two people on either side of the exit ramp. You also see this at entrances to shopping centers and it isn’t just in Echo Park and West LA. You see it now in Westlake Village and Irvine. It is estimated 25% of all homeless are mentally ill.

    It’s just another trend that makes Los Angeles so undesirable.

    • if 25% of homeless are mentally it, that means 75% are homeless because of being unemployed and/or other financial reasons

      • “if 25% of homeless are mentally it, that means 75% are homeless because of being unemployed and/or other financial reasons”

        Yeah, that 75% couldn’t possibly be comprised of drug/alcohol addicts and other general social misfits who can’t hold a job or one reason or another. While it’s true that these people aren’t employed, it’s not because there aren’t any jobs.

      • ben: While there are obviously homeless families and kids as the website you referenced describes, that doesn’t negate my assertion that many homeless people are comprised of drug/alcohol addicts and other general social misfits who can’t hold a job or one reason or another.

        Here’s an anecdotal example for you: A while back, my wife came across a mom (via some online mom group) who was in desperate need of diapers for her young kid (apparently diapers are not covered under welfare programs in CA). In order to try to get her through her tough time, we bought her a box of diapers, various other odds and ends, and a $25 Walmart gift card. So we go to deliver this stuff to a run-down weekly motel, and the mom who answers the door has completely rotted teeth (likely from meth use). The boyfriend/husband is laying on the bed in the dark motel room. Keep in mind, this is about 10:00am in the morning. There was also another kid, about 3 or so, in the room. I can’t describe how sorry I felt for those poor kids. I debated with myself whether or not to call child protective services, but I ended up not bothering; CPS probably wouldn’t likely be able to keep track of them long term anyway.

        I guess the point of my little story is that many homeless families are not likely homeless because of simple misfortune (although I’m sure that some are). I would guess that many of them are homeless for the same or similar reasons that single people are homeless: mental illness and drug/alcohol abuse. As for answers to the problem? I have no idea.

      • Assembly Bill 1516, written by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a Democrat from San Diego, created the TAXPAYER-backed program within the state’s existing welfare network, called CalWORKs (California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids). Families that qualify for CalWORKS could be eligible for $80 a month to buy diapers for children under the age of 2.

        http://openstates.org/ca/bills/20132014/AB1516/

    • No, no, no… we’ve been told that it’s worth a “chuckle” when reflecting upon how dumpy the region is overall because there are exceptions (nice areas where everyone wants to live so bad that a quarter or more of sellers are resorting to lowering their ask even in an environment that’s had every prop put under it with low inventory to boot). You know, ignore the implications of the whole by focusing on an edge case scenario. Maybe those invisible electrified walls with alligator moats and entry checkpoints will keep them immune from nearby problems, or the separate and self-contained infrastructure these nice areas are operating in a vacuum.

      Head on over to a L.A. county beach, close your eyes, click your flip-flops three times and tell yourself “there’s no place like Baywatch” while being careful not to step on a used needle.

      I’m sure somebody will be along soon enough to regale us with tales of prime desirable raisins in a turd.

    • Many homeless are just plain lazy. I was homeless once, briefly, about 25 years ago. I used a local soup kitchen for daily breakfast and a bagged lunch, and met a few of what I later called “professional homeless”. More than one described to me how easily they were able to lie to take advantage of the system for benefits, traveling to different government offices, using fake IDs, etc. One in particular, a completely sane, intelligent, articulate man, lived in an ancient rusted out van and was PROUD of his free-loading, do-absolutely-nothing-but-leech lifestyle. Meanwhile, having some dignity, I never stopped working, which required a lot of walking and taking the bus when I could afford it. This frequently meant doing dangerous and difficult temp jobs through the Employment Development Department that nobody else wanted – such as cleaning the grease and metal shavings out of a huge machine shop, for $10/hour; I washed dishes; I was a janitor; I drove an hour in a junker VW to a delivery job where I made about $3/hour, 6 days/week. I didn’t need an address to get those jobs, and after a short while (at the time flipping burgers for the worst boss imaginable) I found a $250 room to rent in a disgusting 100-year-old house that has since been demolished. At one point I was working nights cleaning parking lots, slept for 3 hours, went to a tech school during the day, slept another 3 hours, repeat. Fast forward to today, and I’m a thoroughly white collar homeowner with zero sympathy for the guy on the exit ramp. He gets enough from my taxes.

      Many years after my lowest point, I saw three of those homeless in a library at a microfiche station. One of them was reading a list of book titles to the others, books about the homeless, but she was doing it with pride, like it was a badge of honor. All while dressed in full green cammo. I’d seen this person off and on in town for 10 years or more, always wearing the same cammo, which makes me doubt she ever even attempted to get a job. It doesn’t take 10 years to climb out of the gutter if you have any kind of work ethic. Seemed well-fed and well-spoken, too. Professional homeless.

      • Now can you do all that stuff with a busted back, or a leg that hurts like hell from an old injury, or arthritis? A life of heavy work can result in arthritis in ones 40s. Can you do all that when you can’t afford your meds and the voices keep yapping at you all day?

        What you describe is what any young fit person would do and its what I would have done in my 20s, even including the travesty that is tech training.

      • I wasn’t making a blanket statement about all homeless, obviously (hence the word “many” – not one person I encountered was displaying any sign of handicap). Of course some are mentally challenged or disabled in some way. The ones I described were all physically fine and mentally capable of doing any number of jobs. Cammo Girl was walking every time I saw her – not talking to invisible people, not drinking, not limping.

        Even so, I knew a quadriplegic who worked with me in a high volume tech support call center. He had the use of exactly one finger. Kudos to him for not rolling himself off a cliff, which is what I would have done. A lot can be overcome with determination. Education can be had virtually for free, which includes being self-taught. You just have to be willing to start at the very bottom for VERY low pay and job hop every two years. These days, 4-year degrees are not as prized as they once were. I don’t have one, and I’ve been employed in tech for 25 years.

      • a 4 year non-stem college degree is like a high school degree from a generation ago

      • Quarter of a century ago this country was so different. If you were in the same situation now the outcome could be different.

  • All of this Dr Housing Bubble stories make me bullish on housing.
    For all the
    – young people who live with their parents because of costs
    – people who can’t afford to live by themselves sharing homes with other people
    – homeless who can’t afford rent
    – low interest rates

    there is still a growing population and enough demand to push house prices up. That is, there’s a reason why house prices and rents are the way they are. And it comes down to 2 words, supply and demand.
    Until the current supply and demand metrics change then housing will remain expensive in california.

    Don’t like it? Try moving to Las Vegas.

    • The same OLD Fallacy – equate the number of people with demand.

      They are not the same thing. Have you ever been to Jakarta, Indonesia or San Paulo, Brazil? Miilions of people and lots of poverty/slums. Lots of people without money is not demand. It means poverty and slums.

      Have you ever been to Switzerland and Norway? Low population does not mean low demand or low prices; it means civilization, prosperity and high standard of living. For high prices first and formost you need high incomes or I should say high disposable income. If you have high incomes and high prices and and high taxes you still get poverty.

      • Precisely. It’s the capacity to pay (quality) over the mass of numbers (quantity). The property bulls keep citing the influx of immigrants to the city I live in (Perth, Oz) as proof that declining rents will turn around totally ignoring the fact that very few can afford the cost as it is due to job deterioration, let alone any rise. And so the rents keep falling despite the influx.

    • Don’t forget the obligatory talking points:

      There has never been a better time to buy.
      Interest rates will never be lower.
      They ain’t making any more land.
      [insert over-priced city name] is undergoing gentrification comparable to Paris, France, and New York.
      Pressure for buyers to get off the sidelines has been building (for the past 7 years).
      Rich investors will always buy sight unseen.

    • Well, Dean, why are you wasting your time on here seeing how you’ve got it all figured out? With all of the buying there is to do, there’s precious little time to waste.

  • Try watching Million Dollar Listing, Los Angeles. Sickening, those little idiots making hundreds of thousands in sales commissions as they continually sell multi-million dollar homes to people with endless bank accounts. I’m sorry but they do not work hard for a living. It sickens me when I see their outrageous commissions.

    • That show is bullshit. A actor friend of mine got hired by Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles to play a perceptive buyer of a multi-million dollar home. In reality he doesn’t have a pot to piss in and rents a place in Hollywood. Most of the homes shown aren’t even for sale. It’s all BS.

      • So its like Pawn Stars or American Pickers, but with houses. Both of those shows are fake as hell

  • Yes, the greater L.A. area is like Greece in some respects. They have their left wing politics, but they pay a big price to be around like minded people. Others, who are not so political, flee to Texas and ask to be admitted as refugees. The only thing that keeps L.A. alive is the transfer payments from the Bay area of the high tech people. A great many of the people in L.A. are in the underground economy and don’t report much income so they qualify for all the government benefits.
    We in Kerrville are laughing our xxx off over the story from Glendale-Armenia, where there was a knife fight in front of the police station, one guy walked a block and died in front of the court house , the other guy used the phone outside of the station to report a crime and be taken to the hospital.

  • Adding to the misery of these unfortunates we behold the “mental health professionals” yammering about “the homeless mentally ill,” as if the situation of not owning a home were a biological illness like a dysfunctional liver. Interpreting the phrase “homeless mentally ill” in another way, they mean that “mental illness caused these people to become homeless,” oh yeah? Since when is being laid off a job a medical issue like a detached retina or a concussion? To be sure, psychiatric “medications” cause people to conduct themselves in ways that onlookers might call strange. That’s as intended, as psychiatrists prostituting for Pharma pimps cast their deleterious “medication” net over the trusting, and people are turned into zombies or worse in the name of alleged “health.” Very likely examples can be found of psychiatrists losing their homes because they committed billing or other fraud. May we then label them as “homeless mentally ill?” Oh hell no, their diplomas give them immunity against “mental illness.” However, do the practitioners of actual medical specialties—dermatology for example—claim their degree immunizes them from the illness conditions with which their specialties are concerned? Do dermatologists imply their degree immunizes them against abrasions, sunburn, hornet stings, poison ivy? Calling homeless people mentally ill only makes their plight worse, and legitimizes their mistreatment by others.

    • I’m not sure how many homeless people you’ve come across, but the vast majority I come across are mentally ill and/or apparent drug addicts. The remainder doesn’t appear to want to work for one reason or another. I’m not judging them, I’m just highlighting the likely reasons they are homeless. From my experience, very few, if any, appear to simply be down on their luck with no place to stay.

      • A lot are just plain old and worn out. Back injuries don’t show up well to the casual observer, and I’ve even seen things like a guy with a busted clavicle, it was creepy to see the free ends floating around under his skin.

        To get a job, you need an address. To get an address you need a job.

        And many probably just decide Screw it. Your papers keep getting stolen, often by the police, and you find out you can fly a sign and get enough to eat, even if you want to step back onto the Great American Treadmill no ones hiring a 50-something.

        The more savvy homeless come up with an art or a craft they can do. The highest paying job I ever had was panhandling but I’m happy I don’t have to do that any more.I’m happier making less doing real work (tech so the lay is shitty) and I have free time to work on art which has an actual future.

      • I meant the PAY is shitty ha ha!

        The way the internet is pinching down, the pipe getting essentially smaller and smaller, in 10 years this will be a mimeographed newsletter and maybe whoever runs this will actually make a buck.

  • Mr.Smith in Ktown

    See this article

    As Banks Retreat, Private Equity Rushes to Buy Troubled Home Mortgages
    Matthew Goldstein
    6 Hours AgoThe New York Times

    Private equity and hedge fund firms have bought more than 100,000 troubled mortgages at a discount from banks and federal housing agencies, emerging as aggressive liquidators for the remains of the mortgage crisis that erupted nearly a decade ago.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2015/09/29/as-banks-retreat-private-equity-rushes-to-buy-troubled-home-mortgages.html

    • @Mr.Smith in Ktown, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

      The linked article was about distressed mortgages.

      The peak year for foreclosures in the U.S. was 2011. The years of 2010 and 2009 were almost as high as 2011. Federal banking laws allows banks to keep foreclosures off of the market for a period of up to 10 years. The world economy, and especially China, is going down the rabbit hole as we speak. I wouldn’t be shocked if banks start trying to dump their 2009 to 2011 peak foreclosures a little early due to what’s going on in the economy.

    • Home “ownership” on the Rent-A-Center model, I don’t see what could possibly go wrong.

  • I worked in downtown LA in 1989-93 and was in an office not far from skidrow. At that time, the homeless encampments were everywhere. Winston Street was called ‘hype alley’ and LAPD would let the homeless shoot their drugs at night there. Gladys Avenue, Stanford Street, 6th street, 5th street, (from Main street to SantaFe, etc. Then during Chief Brattons time, the homelessness almost disappeared… I dont know what he did with the homeless but the streets were relatively clean. Now, it is back to its old self with homeless population growing considerably but with all the yuppie/hipster developments in the Historic Bank District, they are kept away from Main street and westward (Spring, Broadway).

    • @QE Abyss, the homeless never went away.

      Here in the Mar Vista-Culver City-Palms area, the homeless live in their cars. They move their cars on street sweeping days.

  • Housing TO Tank Hard SOON!!

  • A great read and it makes sense – The ‘Echo Bubble’ in housing is about to pop

    http://www.businessinsider.com/echo-bubble-in-housing-is-about-to-pop-2015-9

  • Downtown Los Angeles is a ghetto which smells like bacon wrapped hot dogs & urine. Even the homeless don’t want to live there anymore, thus they are migrating West and settling throughout greater LA. The liberal bleeding heart agenda dominating Los Angeles politics will ultimately be it’s downfall. Los Angeles is Shangri-la for illegals & welfare recipients.

    • Every once in a while I have to visit the downtown LA area for work. On most occasions, I’ve had to step around human feces when walking around. It’s surprising to me that some people pay a premium to live there.

      • And speaking as a hobo (you are never an ex hobo any more than you are an ex marine) it pisses me off that people don’t know how to take a shit under field conditions. You take newspaper, shit on that, wrap it up, put in nearest dumpster. How hard can it be?

  • It should be no surprise that the homeless population is big in LA. Isn’t LA the second most populous city in the country and likely largest metro area. Even the homeless are smart enough to realize an LA winter is a walk in park compared to Chicago or Cleveland. The homeless aren’t competing with anybody in regards to buying a house, many of these poor souls have severe mental and drug problems.

  • son of a landlord

    When I moved to Santa Monica in 1987, I saw PLENTY of homeless. It was a big issue at the time.

    Now, 28 years later, nothing has changed. I see PLENTY of homeless, but no more, and no fewer, than before. It’s still a big issue. People discuss it in the newspapers. But nothing has changed.

    Some say that Santa Monica actually has fewer homeless people, but I don’t see it. It looks unchanged to me.

    All throughout the “prosperous 1990s,” and the various bubbles and recessions along the way, the number of homeless in Santa Monica has seemed pretty constant.

    They appears to be mostly crazies, druggies, and alkies. Lots of Whites and Blacks. I don’t see any Latino homeless.

    They come because Santa Monica offers great freebies for the homeless, and great parks to camp out in.

    I sometimes walk through the Promenade at 6 a.m. I see a police cruiser move slowly down those three blocks. The Promenade is filled with sleeping homeless at night. I’ve counted between 40 and 50. The police cruiser’s job is to gently wake the homeless at 6 a.m., and get them to move, so as to clear the Promenade for the daily tourist rush.

    I guess that around midnight, the homeless move back in to sleep.

    The police wear white latex gloves as they gently rouse the homeless. Just part of the routine of being a Santa Monica cop.

    • To be fair, if I were homeless, Santa Monica would be a top destination for me too. So it’s hard to say what is really going on here except that most people enjoy temperate weather and being near the ocean.

      • I think that would my choice also. I don’t know if I’d be on the street long though, because I think my art work would do well there and is be able to rent studio and living space fairly soon.

  • Homeless people are everywhere now. After losing everything in the 08 crash, I opened my eyes and even in nice neighborhoods like campbell and Menlo park, if you look, they are everywhere. Here in San Jose we have 7500 people sleeping outdoors on any given night.

    I talk to a lot of them. Many are indeed mentally not all there, but that’s OK, Saint Reagan dictated they should live out on the street. Blessed be the name of Saint Reagan.

    The homeless people you notice are only the tip of the iceberg. Most of them do not look homeless. Not looking homeless is a valuable survival skill.

    Most I talk to have tech skills. I theorize that to make one techbro, you have to impoverish three normal tech workers and put them out on the street. My observations back this up. The more savvy homeless take up skills Charles Dickens would find familiar like street music or crafts.

    • Its obvious why you were homeless and remain poor. Blaming Saint Reagan? LOL. Kiddo, even if your false claim of Reagan being responsible for the homeless situation was true, there’s been more than a few years since that time for someone to do something. Or are they all powerless to defeat (the somehow evil even though deceased) Saint Reagan?

      Take another pull from that bottle, your fantasies are gonna need more fuel.

    • The emptying of the state’s mental hospitals began in the mid-1950s under Republican governor Goodwin Knight and continued in the 1960s under Democratic governor Edmund “Pat” Brown–Jerry Brown’s father. When Reagan took office as governor, the hospitals had already been half-emptied.

      http://www.tacreports.org/jail-study-background

    • “The homeless people you notice are only the tip of the iceberg. Most of them do not look homeless. Not looking homeless is a valuable survival skill. ”

      Alex, I agree. Many of them also work but can’t afford rent. I know, I’ve been there before.

      The ones who work, you would never guess they were homeless. Many people live in their cars and wash up in public bathrooms, then clean up after themselves. No one ever knows.

  • Inventory in the OC….will we see a seasonal drop like last year? Right about this time, inventory started to decline. From mid-September to early January, it dropped, and then in January of 2015 it started to increase, and hasn’t stopped since. Be interesting to see what happens this year.

    http://i.imgur.com/zjfmAZZ.jpg

  • son of a landlord

    Alex in San Jose: Saint Reagan dictated they should live out on the street. Blessed be the name of Saint Reagan.

    Reagan didn’t do it all by himself. The ACLU sued and lobbied and sued before Reagan agreed and freed the mentally ill.

    And Reagan and the ACLU had huge popular support. The 1960s/1970s’ Anti-Establishment thinking included a distrust of psychiatry.

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was a bestseller in 1962, a Broadway play in 1963, and an Academy-Award-Winning film — 5 Oscars! — in 1975.

    Today it’s popular to scapegoat Reagan for releasing the mentally ill. Liberals, progressives and Democrats like to forget the strong anti-psychiatry mood in the air — especially among liberals, progressives, and Democrats.

    • I hate that book! First,it’s a sensationalistnovel, not a documentary. Second, shock therapy works. It is still used now.

      But the conservatives made sure the community mental health places were never put in, and in this country treats mental illness as sinfulness, not an actual disease. We will be burning witches next.

  • Come on guys, tell me for real; how many of these homeless people were former white collar workers? Folks with college degrees, kids or a pet? . I can guarantee you that these are not former middle class folks who are truly down and out on their luck. Most have mental health issues and or substance abuse problems. Let’s not engage in exaggerated claims. I remember during the last severe Great Recession there were youtube videos floating around of homeless tent cities. They made it seem like homeless tent cities were popping up all over America. It was all hyperbole.

    • Yes, there are tent cities popping up all over America, and yes at least where I am, they are heavily educated in tech. Degreed, or worked in electronics, IT, etc., or had a solid job that went away when the factory closed.

    • i met a homeless engineer once, but he was black

    • If I recall the creator of what’s app that was bought by Facebook for a billion dollars was homeless for awhile. But I’m sure he comes from a middle class family

      • Alex in San Jose

        Class determines everything in the US. Because I was raised middle-class until my teens (when my family fell into deep poverty) and because I speak relatively educated English (Dad was an English major at an ivy) while I’ve been “HUD homeless” I doubt I could become “street homeless” unless I really tried. The people I know simple won’t let me.

        Class. Determines. All.

  • This is a very sad topic. Look at a country like Switzerland, where everyone has a job and a place to live (thanks to government planning). I just can not understand how one of the richest countries in the World (Merica) can have a lack of social policies that allow this to happen.
    Rather than spending Trillions overseas, we need to change our priorities and take care of America before this country is just another Brazil.

    • Why, you dirty rotten Socialist!! I’m a stinking pinko myself, how do you do?

      Sounds like you have a real government where you are in CH, too bad here in the US we are governed by a bunch of gangsters that would make Al Capone blush.

    • Switzerland is a small country with a relatively homogeneous population. However, that’s all changing with the influx of Muslim hordes and other immigrants from third world countries. It won’t be long before they suffer the same fate as the U.S. with a lack of affordable housing and rising joblessness.

  • Its funny how the housing haters that are attracted to this blog could literally find statistics and surprisingly articulate arguments as to how inflated socal real estate prices are the cause of all of the worlds problems. If there were a direct correlation to high RE prices and homelessness NY and SF would rank higher than LA. LA has more homeless people because like some have mentioned above LA is a great place to be a bum & leech of government welfare programs. Great weather makes it conducive to outdoor living and liberal as hell population that think people that don’t work to work, drink and do drugs all day should be able to live and do whatever they want. Do you think if rents dropped 30% we wouldn’t have homeless issues? The homeless would probably be pissed because their welfare checks are probably tied to the cost of living. If housing prices dropped their checks would be smaller so they have less expendable income to score dope. Best idea I’ve heard in awhile is to build a bunch of housing for homeless in areas where land is virtually free (lancaster/palmdale etc). Unfortunately this housing would stay vacant because homeless wouldn’t go there due to panhandling opportunities not being as prevalent (or at least until they built some costco sized pot dispensaries and start shipping out some of the harder stuff)

    • The homeless just have different values than we do. They prefer to live in the street. The homeless like that lifestyle. Many have opportunities to be tied down to institutionalized housing and they prefer the free lifestyle of the streets. Diversity is our strength, so let us not put down the alternative lifestyle of not living in a structure. It is human nature to want everybody to be like us and we tend to live with our kind. Texans like Texas and people in Portland like to live there. The City has another lifestyle that the philistines can not begin to comprehend.

    • To quote someone else: “the poor will always be with you”

      • Homelessness is a choice so a better term for them is Urban Campers. I think a more interesting topic would be one on how people in central LA are sharing beds in three 8 hour shifts because they are so packed in. The population growth is relentless and building is not coming anywhere close to keeping up with it. The struggle that people are having to keep up with prices is very real. I won’t be surprised to see it all in flames at some point.

  • Switzerland is sweet not only because of the chocolate, but also the Socialism. You are doing things right.

    • Alex has plenty of time to post to this blog day after day. He must be a lazy welfare slave living on the Democrat’s bankrupt welfare plantation?

  • Switzerland is Socialist, those poor, poor people.

  • There are even more people that may not be “homeless” but are down on there luck when you add all the people living in RVs. I know Venice use to be littered with RVs. There are other areas too like around Alondra Park (next to El Camino Community College) were there are heavy amounts of people living in RVs.

  • I would wager many homeless, while yes drug-alcohol addicted and “mentally ill” across many scales of measure, that most or many of such folks grew up in poverty. While I don’t know what that is like, I observe that when generations of people grow up in poverty, in an anti-poor and nti-socialist culture like USA, are not at all supported at any level. To develop the skills, speaking skills, job skills, reliability, parenting, discipline, access to transportation, etc… such folks don’t learn survival skiils beyond just getting by on the base level. So yes the addiction and metal illness applies, but I think there is an underlying classism in our society that would rather cast eyes and judgment.

    • I don’t think your assumption “holds water”.

      I came peniless to US without speaking English. Parents were poor and died poor. At the begining I worked hard and long hours. I went to school, I learned English, I graduated and today I am a millionaire and raised 4 children at the same time.

      Everything is possible with hard work, discipline and determination.

      Never wait on others. No politician cares about. They are there for themselves. Blaming others will never lift you out of poverty.

      People have to learn to think like adults and make choices like adults. You are the only one making choices for yourself and you have to live with them.

      It is a big gap between what you want and what makes sense to do. Blaming “saint” Reagan for your poverty today is not ever going to help you get out of poverty.

  • Next to my house in rural Oregon are a couple in a hand made cabin who are trying to live off the grid. She’s pregnant. It’s a bit nicer setup than a homeless tent camp but a lot wetter than LA (like 70+ inches of rain a year). They’ve been there about 3-4 years. I’ve heard of “tree people” who live even deeper in the woods on land they don’t own in buried old busses or some such thing. My Sister-in-law used to give lifts to town to one of them before she moved to North Dakota. I’d rather be growing stuff in the woods than dodging seriously dangerous guys on the streets of LA.

    About hobos. My Uncle was a hobo. He didn’t choose to be a hobo, it just happened. In the early ’30s, his Dad (my Grandfather) died and the farm was foreclosed because the Son didn’t know how to run a farm, just how to do chores. So he took to the “road” doing the kind of agricultural work he knew how to do. Later, during WWII he went to work for a railroad. He had a lot of experience riding trains, and he’d been let go from the Army for having TB. Died of it in ’48. Since then there haven’t been many real hobos out there.

    • Aren’t pretty much all houses hand-made? It sounds like a sh!t hole, in any case. And she’s pregnant to boot? Very nice. I really don’t get why people live like that. It seems like a much tougher life than going to college and getting a halfway decent job. I would guess that the vast majority of people don’t like working, but it seems like being homeless (or near homeless) is way more work than having a normal job in most cases. It’s completely illogical- which is yet more evidence that most homeless people are mentally ill and/or have substance abuse issues.

    • Alex in San Jose

      Because glorious capitalism

      http://www.reddit.com/r/socialism

  • Hello Doc

    Does AirBNB have a negative impact on housing rental rates? in LA, LA, LAnd, according to them… “no”.

    http://laist.com/2015/09/30/not_i_says_airbnb.php

  • I actually spoke to someone recently who told me she wants to move to LA from the East coast because the welfare is better in Cali. She is under the impression that everyone in Cali gets a cute private apartment with a yard, free health care, and a generous monthly stipend all paid for by the state. I told her that she should hurry before they run out of free stuff.

  • Look for more people mental or not on the streets soon. The latest jobs report is anemic again. Job creation very weak, 5.1% unemployment rate a fictitious number for sure, base pay increase barely up, true inflation running higher.

    All I all, you can see why the goofy Fed is scared to raise just a 1/4%. It is like putting the last toothpick on the pile, it will probably collapse the whole thing?

    • The fed is desperately trying to prop up the ongoing pyramid scheme of an economy. The peak keeps widening while the base continues to shrink and thin out.

  • The job report is misleading. They only count the people who actually applied for Unemployment Assistance within a given time frame. What about all the people who’s benefits expired and/or who just gave up and fell out of the system? With unemployment benefits no longer being renewed for years on end, there are t millions of unemployed people who no longer get counted. I believe the real unemployment number is closer to 10+%.

    • Actually with all factors considered it is just under 15%. The Gov’t knows every fact and figure ( they can’t let the masses know). When I had my business we never let the employees really know the bottom line, if they did, it would affect how they approach selling my goods, all they needed to know was when they cashed our payroll check it didn’t bounce.

      • Here’s a little secret for you: the employees didn’t care about your bottom line. They were only there for the pay check, as you more or less alluded to.

        In the same vein, anyone with half a brain knows that the ±5% unemployment figure reported by the government is entirely inaccurate. It probably doesn’t really matter whether they report the real number, or any number. More or less, people seem to have a reasonable idea of the real number.

  • Well, Texas is not safe either , you packed another 5 to 6 million per decade like Texas is currently doing it will be overpriced too. Texas used to be cheaper than Arizona but not anymore. I think you need to realized that too many people causes this not if you are in California or Texas. Ca would have lost population if their was no immigration from Latin America or Asia this past decade and according to the Center for immigration studies Texas beat out California for legal and illegal immigrant from 2010 to 2014. The same thing will happen to good ole Texas in about 15 years while California will lose population because both the native born and foreign born will take your advice and moved to Texas. By the way the oil situation will make TExas less desirable until it hits 80 a barrel at the end of 2017. Also, in the 2020’s Texas competes against Mexico for oil drilling since Mexico is selling its oil off to some Texas companies right now and its cheaper to drill in Mexico.

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