LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The next chapter in downtown Los Angeles’ renaissance is underway with the announcement of a $500 million makeover.
But some residents expressed outrage Wednesday amid the launch of the project and are calling for the creation of more affordable housing in the area.READ MORE: Dodgers Down Padres In 12-Inning Classic Thanks To Seager Home Run
“They’re sitting here building a lot of buildings and apartments that are very expensive,” said 10-year-old Alaysia Jointer.
She, along with her brother, and mother, ride several trains every day to get her brother to daycare, her to school, and mom to work in Santa Monica.
They live in downtown Los Angeles, where rent has been on the rise.
Their daily commute starts at a downtown station, which sits right by the CIRCA Project, a mixed-use development with luxury rental apartments and retail space.
“You don’t get the help that you really need out here. It’s hard and especially if you’re a single mother,” said Aviaunce Smiles, a downtown Los Angeles resident.
That’s why demonstrators from Skid Row protested an unveiling ceremony Wednesday of the 1.6 million-square-foot project that will include two 35-story towers.
The project is slated to add close to 650 high-end condominiums, reported Claudia Peschiutta of KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO.READ MORE: LIVE UPDATES: Funeral Underway As England Mourns Loss Of Prince Philip
“We need housing at all levels. I agree with my friends over here,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “We need to and continue to build for the most low income and homeless individuals housing. Something I’ve been passionate about and something in this year’s budget, we’ve put more than $10 million in more than the previous year.”
Demonstrators wanted Garcetti to accept its letter demanding the creation of more affordable housing in the city.
Garcetti acknowledges rent prices have sharply increased in L.A. and attributes the increase to a housing shortage at all levels, reported CBS2’s Jeff Nguyen.
“If we are building 100,000 units of housing in the next 8 years, we’d be able to bring those rents back down,” he said.
Chris Ponce, a construction worker, says the redevelopment of downtown L.A. is helping to put food on the table for his family.
“Right now, there’s about 30 people working. 45 in each company. Come 6 months from now, there’s 200 people in this hole right here,” Ponce said.
Smiles, in the meantime, says she’s constantly on the verge of being homeless.MORE NEWS: 2 Long Beach Grocery Stores Shutting Down Saturday Over Hero Pay Law
“A family of even 3, and then paying rent, that’s my whole check goes to rent alone,” she said.