The physical transformation of Los Angeles continues to accelerate unabated. The result is a significant rise in homelessness throughout many parts of the city. Sidewalks lined with tents being used as shelters have become a part of the landscape in neighborhoods from Downtown to Hollywood and beyond. The irony that many of these spontaneous habitats are erected in the shadow of newly constructed luxury residences is lost on many.

It’s disheartening how quickly people have become accustomed to what should be unacceptable. The displaced have become normalized, their makeshift residences and scattered belongings are only noteworthy when they become inconvenient. Meanwhile, the majority of new construction remains permanently out of reach to the poorest residents, a shiny new city is literally being built on top of those who can’t afford to live in it.

The underlying problem is a lack of political will to engage the issue in a substantive way. In a city that celebrates the successful and denigrates anything less, there is an institutional failure to address the increasing number of people living on streets of Los Angeles. The housing situation in L.A. is commonly referred to as a crisis yet treated as an investment opportunity, lining the pockets of the wealthy by ignoring those in the most need.

The physical transformation of Los Angeles continues to accelerate unabated. The result is a significant rise in homelessness throughout many parts of the city. Sidewalks lined with tents being used as shelters have become a part of the landscape in neighborhoods from Downtown to Hollywood and beyond. The irony that many of these spontaneous habitats are erected in the shadow of newly constructed luxury residences is lost on many.

It’s disheartening how quickly people have become accustomed to what should be unacceptable. The displaced have become normalized, their makeshift residences and scattered belongings are only noteworthy when they become inconvenient. Meanwhile, the majority of new construction remains permanently out of reach to the poorest residents, a shiny new city is literally being built on top of those who can’t afford to live in it.

The underlying problem is a lack of political will to engage the issue in a substantive way. In a city that celebrates the successful and denigrates anything less, there is an institutional failure to address the increasing number of people living on streets of Los Angeles. The housing situation in L.A. is commonly referred to as a crisis yet treated as an investment opportunity, lining the pockets of the wealthy by ignoring those in the most need.