Has LA Grown Too Fast?

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Has LA Grown Too Fast?

Abhiyan Kota, Staff Writer

Los Angeles (LA) is the second largest city in the United States, with a population of four million people, spread out over an area of 503 square miles. The city’s population, along with those of surrounding suburbs, has only grown over the past few decades, leading to a cornucopia of cultures, people, and demographics. Unfortunately, this massive growth has consequences. 

According to Forbes, LA and the surrounding region have a homeless population of nearly 50,000, an actual increase of 14% compared to a decade ago. This population is only second to New York’s homeless crisis. There are many more impoverished neighborhoods than there are middle and upper class regions. LA also has a growing trash and rat problem, much worse than other metropolitans. What happened?

Just 30 years ago, the population of LA was 2.9 million, and now the population is four million. The reason for this growth is the appeal of the city. Just like New York, LA is a metropolis that invites people of all races and backgrounds and is a haven for opportunities, let it be businesses or restaurants. This gives the city a positive impression among people on a global scale, allowing more to move here. This growth led to an increased need for housing, and consequently, the price of housing shot up as land value greatly increased. This doesn’t pair well with the fact that the majority of Angelenos are not wealthy. According to LA Weekly, the average household income is $55,909, and the amount of money required for rent is nearly $27,749 per year. This is evidence of how ridiculously expensive it has become to live in LA Naturally, this would lead to an increasing homeless population and the growth of impoverished neighborhoods. 

Recently in fact, the population of LA County dropped by over 13,200 people due to the issues mentioned above. Despite that, many regions or pockets, such as the San Gabriel Valley, still continue to grow. Even though it is becoming more expensive to live here, the main city and surrounding valleys will never lose their appeal because of the ever growing opportunities and acceptance of different races. In regards to this, the only way to tackle the issues plaguing LA is by taking a major stance. This city has not done enough to stop homelessness, so now is the chance for city officials to take action to build affordable housing and provide job opportunities for them. In impoverished communities, a strong education should be encouraged as that is the gateway to success in life. The city is not taking care of its schools and is letting them rot. People who do not have an education will be stuck in the same economic situation and might even become homeless themselves. In a region as large as LA, this is as much as can be done due to the costs of these changes, so the city should take advantage of the resources it has and bring about change, something that has been delayed for years.

 

Photo courtesy of BBC.COM