On Thursday morning LA Sheriffs arrived at an apartment building on Cahuenga in Hollywood to serve an eviction notice. Before they were able to enter the apartment, they heard a single gunshot from inside. Eventually they gained entry, and found an individual who had died from “an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.”
Earlier this year, the annual survey conducted by the LA Homeless Services Authority found there were 41,980 people experiencing homelessness in the City of LA (a 1.7% increase from 2020) and 69,144 people experiencing homelessness in LA County (a 4.1% rise from 2020). Apparent inaccuracies that have been found in the survey have led many people to believe that the actual numbers are far higher.
In June 2020, the LA Housing & Community Investment Department released a report estimating that there were between 85,000 and 100,000 empty housing units in the City of LA. (See page 5.)
In their 2020 report on vacancy in Los Angeles, SAJE, ACCE and UCLA Law found that the City was producing far more expensive units than affordable ones, leading to excessive vacancies at the high end and a shortage of supply at the low end. (See page 5.)
“Simply put, new expensive housing remains disproportionately vacant, thereby failing to free up units for lower-income families. In addition to the intentional maintenance of overpriced units for rent or sale described above, the system of housing production in Los Angeles has created, on the one hand, a surplus supply of high-rent housing with elevated vacancy for new and higher-priced units, and on the other hand, a massive shortfall of low-cost housing that has contributed to the houselessness crisis.”
The LA Tenants Union posted a response to the apparent suicide of the tenant in Hollywood.
We don’t know much about the renter who took his life on Thursday, but it seems likely that, knowing he was about to be evicted from his home, he shot himself because he felt he had no place else to go.
How is that possible in a city where tens of thousands of units sit empty?