Like many developers of these popular real estate projects, some Los Angeles City Council members are turning sour about condo conversions.
But while developers are actually returning these new condo complexes back into apartment buildings, the L.A. officials are asking for a total moratorium on condo conversions within their districts.
Councilmen Alex Padilla and Bill Rosendahl are ticked off over the wave of evictions of modest-income apartment tenants in their neighborhoods so that the buildings can be turned into for-sale homes. They want a one-year moratorium in order to “give officials time to develop other strategies” for maintaining affordable housing levels in the city in the face of these changes, the L.A. Times reports.
Here’s Rosendahl, who represents West L.A..:
Why should [living near] the ocean be just for the rich? It should be for everybody.
The L.A. council members’ arguments mirror some of the claims here in San Diego, where the wave of condo conversions has uprooted renters in about 19,000 apartments that have been or are planning to be converted since 2004.
Two local nonprofits say the socioeconomic effects of the conversions – replacing renters with more wealthy homebuyers – ultimately has an impact on the environment, as commute times, energy consumption and parking all change as the result of the conversions.
The groups – the Affordable Housing Coalition of San Diego County and Citizens Responsible for Equitable Environmental Development – argue that the city of San Diego is legally obligated to study the environmental impacts on condo conversions before any more are processed or completed.
Developers have attacked the group’s claims, even accusing them of extortion.
The San Diego City Council has shrugged off the nonprofits’ appeals , saying the city dealt with conversions legislatively, and a Superior Court judge has thrown out their cases on a technicality, although developers are expecting the legal challenge to keep their projects in limbo for another year.