‘We Will Not Be Gentrified’: Protesters Target L.A. Over Skid Row Plan
Alarmed by the threat of gentrification, a coalition of advocates on Tuesday accused Los Angeles of wanting to give the bulk of skid row over to luxury housing developers, ignoring the desperate straits of thousands of people living in tents and shelters in the blighted downtown district.
“When they’re shrinking skid row, they’re forgetting everyone who lives here already,” said Steve Diaz of Los Angeles Community Action Network, a neighborhood anti-poverty group, at a morning news conference. “We will not be gentrified.”
The coalition, which also includes Los Angeles Catholic Worker, Inner City Law Center and the health group United Coalition East, is protesting a city plan that would rezone parts of skid row, plus the adjoining downtown fashion and arts districts, from warehouse and industrial uses to residential.
The plan, which must clear several hurdles before going before the L.A. City Council for approval next year, would limit development in the heart of the 50-block area, which is now lined with tent cities, to housing that’s affordable for people who earn $10,000 to $58,000 a year. But the newly permitted housing in the outer rings of skid row could be market-rate. Under a new “community benefits program,” developers would be allowed to put up bigger buildings if they included units for poor people or added parks, public squares or other amenities.
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